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Happy The Man - Crafty Hands CD (album) cover


Happy The Man


Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 206 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have felt that HAPPY THE MAN was one of the more overrated prog rock bands, but at least they're not bad or anything. I actually think "Crafty Hands" is a notch better than their first. Certainly the problem I have here, as with their debut, is they often liked being technical showoffs. Kit Watkins, this time around seems to spend less time soaking the music with atmospheric string synths, but of course, there are plenty of wind instruments, and vocals are only used on one cut (that cut sounding like Phil COLLINS-lead GENESIS, oddly reminding me of "Abacab" although that album wouldn't surface for another three years, although less pop-oriented).

The album opens up with "Service With a Smile", this cut sounds so much like HAPPY THE MAN wanted to be The ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, it about hurts (in fact, both HAPPY THE MAN and The ALAN ARSONS PROJECT shared the same label, Arista). You can almost imagine Alan PARSONS and Eric Woolfson writing an instrumental song just like that, and having their studio musicians play that. The rest is more like you expect HAPPY THE MAN, some of the pieces have that GENTLE GIANT-like quirkiness. One piece reminds me a little of Mike OLDFIELD. As before, HAPPY THE MAN is a band I don't quite understand the hype, but at least the music is decent enough.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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