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Paladin - Charge! CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.46 | 67 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Mix your mind with the moonbeams"

Paladin may only have ever released two albums, but their second "Charge" is an absolute classic of early 70's melodic prog. There are many different styles and sounds on the album, yet the whole is nothing less than a coherent masterpiece.

The Roger Dean sleeve may not be an absolute guarantee of quality, but Paladin sit well with their peers such as Yes, Uriah Heep, Asia, etc., whom Dean graced with his artwork.

There are four feature tracks on the album. The opening "Give me your hand" sets the tone, with rich organ and guitar backing a strong vocal for a fine piece of melodic hard rock. "Good lord" is a slightly softer but still upbeat song with some excellent guitar work by Derek Foley. It leads into the album's best track, the wonderfully atmospheric "Mix your mind with the moonbeams". The multi-tracked vocals and trippy lyrics are pure early 70's ("Let the cosmic light diffuse itself, in all its magic ways"). The track is awash in keyboard layers, and chiming guitars. This is PENDRAGON years before Pendragon existed! Also included is an all too rare Hammond organ solo, similar to the one on URIAH HEEP's "July Morning".

The closing track "Watching the world pass by" has it all in about 9 minutes. It starts with some interesting keyboard moods, before breaking into an almost funky harmonica led wall of sound. About midway, we suddenly lurch into a barn dance, before a superb guitar solo of some length brings the album to its climactic conclusion.

The album is rounded out by three shorter tracks. "Well we might" is an early Slade (yes Slade!) like rocker with some great guitar and some very effective stop go interludes. "Anyway" is a mellotron backed ballad which contrasts superbly with the generally upbeat nature of the album. This track appears to have been a late addition to the original LP, as it appears on a sticky label added to the track listing. "Get one together" is the only dip, being a pretty nondescript instrumental.

"Charge" is a truly superb album, very much of its time, but still highly enjoyable. The band were destined to split before recording any further albums, but at least they went out on a high.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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