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The Move - Looking On CD (album) cover

LOOKING ON

The Move

 

Proto-Prog

4.18 | 31 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Though by no means a bona-fida Progressive rock band, The Move's third album, 'Looking On', was very much a part of the first wave of great prog albums that appeared in the early- seventies. Hailing from Birmingham, and featuring future stars Roy Wood(Wizzard) and Jeff Lynne(Electric Light Orchestra, The Travelling Wilbury's) amongst their ranks, The Move were primarily known for their clever brand of deceptively-kitsch proto-psychedelic pop, as was shown on their 1968 debut 'Move' and it's sharper, fuller follow-up of two years later 'Shazaam'. They also had a knack for releasing popular psych-pop singles, with tunes such as 'Blackberry Way', 'Night Of Fear', 'Flowers In The Rain', 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' and 'Fire Brigade' all reaching the top five of the British charts between the years 1966 and 1969, reflecting their genesis within the brief psychedelic boom of the late-sixties. However, as the seventies and prog-rock arrived, The Move's outlook - much like their name suggests - was radically altered, with the group sporting a harder, complex new sound. Within the paradigms of prog, Wood's musical and instrumental excellence was exploited to it's fullest, fuelling 'Looking On's reckless invention and summing up the albums occasional moments of pure brilliance. The crushingly-heavy 'Brontosaurus' is an immediate welcome to The Move's updated sound, as proto-metal guitars groan away under the pure weight of the meatiest riff one could hope to hear. It's a drastic, powerful start that burns bright with fiendish invention - the group's trademark affectation - but one that almost single-handedly completes the group's sonic overhaul. The raw and bluesy 'Turkish Tram Conductor Blues' is a more jocular affair, shuddering guitars still up front, but one that melds their peculiar pop nous with their sterner sonic design in a brash, sweaty rock 'n' roll style that hints at Steamhammer-sized aspirations. The album's crowning jewel? The epic, soul-inflected prog-soul rocker 'Feel Too Good', a truly marvellous rock medley featuring a driving, funk-fried bass-line, twitching guitars, bar-room keyboards, bleat-horns, flugel-horns, french-horns and whatever other horns and instruments Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne could get their hands on at the time. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 5/5 |

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