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Hatfield And The North - The Rotters' Club CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.20 | 504 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Most of "The Rotter's Club" is classic Canterbury (which I personally define as British fusion), so if you're a fan of the style, you either already own or definitely should own this seminal work. "Lying and Gracing", for instance, is tasteful, talented jazz-rock, as are the fuzzy guitar parts and tinkling electric piano solos on "The Yes No Interlude", part of a continuous piece of music which bridges much of the first side. "Mumps" is a good mix of smooth and discordant sections, punctuated by sweet vocal harmonies and some killer bass playing; also, Sinclair's understated, witty singing compliments the tasteful instrumental performances. Other notable vocal tracks: "Share It", an interesting and intelligent jazz song (with a classic 70s synth solo); On "Fitter Stroke Has a Bath" and "Halfway Between Heaven and Earth" he sings and scats with a more lighthearted feel, the former getting almost psychedelic as it fades into "Didn't Matter Anyway", which has a simpler, softer, more melodic texture. I'm not sure why "(Big) John Wayne" and "Chaos" are repeated, although both lead well into their respective following tracks. Songs like "Underdub" and "Lounging There Trying" are lighter jazz grooves, quite pleasant if somewhat unremarkable to my ears. If you like Sinclair, this is the next logical step in the evolution of the jazzier elements of "Land of Grey and Pink", "Waterloo Lily" etc... personally, I'm not a big fan of either Canterbury or CARAVAN, but even I recognize and respect the work here; three stars as a progressive rock album, but would easily deserve four or five in a dedicated Canterbury setting.
James Lee | 3/5 |


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