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Jon & Vangelis - The Friends Of Mr. Cairo CD (album) cover


Jon & Vangelis


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3.31 | 106 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars I'm a bit surprised to see that this album is more rated than Short Stories. This is more poppy and has some weak moments in the title track, but first of all let me say that on the CD version the A nd B sides seem to have been swapped. I'm absolutely sure that on the vinyl the A side is the one with the title track.

The order used to listen to an album can influence the judgement. Surely "I'll find My Way" is a better song than "The Friend Of Mr Cairo".

On my review I want to stick on the vinyl order.

"The Friend Of Mr Cairo" is a sort of tribute to gangster's movies of the 40's. A lot of gimmicks in the background, like neither Roger Waters is used to, are behind a "B-movie" bass riff. Jon has an effect on the voice, I think a harmonizer. Not really bad. One can listen to it without getting bored, but it's surely not a masterpiece. When after 5 minutes it slows down it's more in line with what one can expect from this duo, but all the "fun" coming from the first part is gone. In brief, the two halfs of the song are not functional one to the other.

An electronic boogie picks up us in the 40's and puts us in the 50's. "Back to School" seems to be here just for fun. In this sense 5 minutes are too much. A song like this shouldn't last longer than 2 and half minutes. The short sax solo of Dick Morrisey is remarkable.

With "Outside of This" the album starts to be a Jon and Vangelis album. Let's forget the first two tracks. This is one of the mellow songs of wich there will be plenty on Private Collection. A relaxing moment to remember who we are listening to. The lyrics seem to be the usual Jon's appreciation for universal love or something like this, but I usually don't put a lot of attention on Jon's lyrics.

"I'll Find My Way" is a melodic song with a good performance of Jon (overdubbed). Nothing special. Just nice easy listening as in the light moments of Aphrodite's Child with Demis. Jon uses the harmonizer (or similar) again. It's also possible that what I think is an effect is only due to the overdubbing.

"State Of Independence" is started by a very short jazzy sax intro but turns immediately into electronic. It's the kind of song that can be found on many Jon's solo albums, since Olias To Song Of Seven. Good stuff.

"Beside" is another melodic interlude. Piano and voice, mainly. Easy pop.

The real highlight of the album, spacey, evocative is the closer: "Mayflower" is for me the only valid reason to buy this album. While all the rest is just 80s electronic without pretending to be anything special, even if the parallel between the travel of the pilgrims in 17th century and the exploration of space can appear trivial, this song evocates space helped by the astronauts voices in the end. Only, Vangelis used them already on Albedo 0.39 so it's not much original.

I'm a fan of both and I'm happy to own it, but it's just a collector's item.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |


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