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Traffic - Mr. Fantasy CD (album) cover

MR. FANTASY

Traffic

 

Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 109 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In my opinion, the 60s was a great decade, but particularly 1967 was a very good year for Rock music. Very good albums were released that year, many of them in the Psychodelic style. This first Traffic album is very good, and sometimes funny due to Psychodelia. It is not a perfect album. I think that many albums from the sixties have not corrected mistakes done by the musicians during the recording of the songs, and many groups were very good more by their energy and joy to play the music than for their technical skills playing their instruments. This is an example of this kind of albums. I think that a Producer like the late Jimmy Miller was of the kind of producers who gave a lot of freedom to the bands. Miller, was, IMO, like "a George Martin" for many bands like Traffic, Blind Faith, the Roling Stones, and others. So, this album has a lot of freedom, creativity, great songs, joy and fun. I forgive the mistakes because the songs are very good and the songs were recorded with good energy and feeling. Traffic, like The Doors, was, IMO, an atypical band, because they also lacked a full time bassist. So, Steve Winwood and Dave Mason shared the bass guitar parts, and Winwood sometimes also played the bass pedals of his organ. The songs: "Heaven is in your mind" is one example of a good song played with energy and with some out of tune vocals and mistakes in the bass guitar parts."Berkshire Poppies" it`s a funny song, maybe influenced by the use of some substances! It has a piano which sounds out of tune, really."House for Everyone" is a very psychodelic song by Dave Mason. "No Face, No Name and No Number", is, IMO, one of the best songs from this album, maybe the most Progressive in sound, due to the use of the Mellotron and Harpsichord , and with a "dreamy atmosphere" and surrealistic lyrics.The song "Dear Mr. Fantasy" is heavy,with lead guitars and very good drums. The origin of this song, as I read in an interview done with Jim Capaldi in his official website, was a poem written by him one night. He says that he left the poem in a table in the cottage where Traffic were living in Berkshire. The next morning, the poem was read by Steve Winwood and Chris Wood. They liked the poem, so they composed music for this poem. When Capaldi awoke, he found that the "Mr. Fantasy" poem had music! Capaldi also says that the cover designed by Chris Wood is related to the lyrics of this song."Dealer" is a song composed by Capaldi alone.It has an acoustic guitar arrangement which sounds a bit for me with influences from Spanish and Mexican traditional music, with the use of Latin percussion instruments.Maybe the lyrics are about a drug dealer. "Utterly Simple" is a song composed by Dave Mason, with Sitar and Indian percussion instruments, maybe influenced by George Harrison and Brian Jones, who sometimes also used the Sitar in their respective bands. "Coloured Rain" is one of the best songs from this album, with Winwood playing the bass pedals of his organ."Hope I Never Find Me There" is another good song composed by Dave Mason."Giving to You" is a "mad" instrumental piece, with some jazz influences, strange voices and some improvisation. IMO, it seems that from the start Traffic was divided. Most of the songs in this album were composed by Winwood, Capaldi and Wood. Mason composed alone three songs. The only song composed by the whole band is "Giving to You". Mason left Traffic several times and he also returned several times between 1967 and 1968. Traffic sometimes toured as a trio without him. In 1971, he returned to play with them (as guest) for the last time for some concerts in 1971. Some recordings from these concerts appeared in the "Welcome to the Canteen" live album.
Guillermo | 4/5 |

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