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Can - Can CD (album) cover

CAN

Can

 

Krautrock

2.59 | 56 ratings

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tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I actually kinda like this album, as opposed to the last two which I kinda loathed. It's the same lineup as before, so there are certainly many instances of the same noodly boring stuff (or, in the case of "A Spectacle," ill-conceived and incompetent attempts at pop) that I didn't like from these guys before, but there are also tracks where the band's new jamming style seems to mesh. In particular, the opening two tracks, the longest on the album, each manage to keep my attention through almost their entire lengths, which definitely couldn't be said about "Animal Waves" from Saw Delight (which ran almost as long on its own as these two tracks put together). "All Gates Open" combines harmonica in the first part with some actual warmth in Schmidt's tone and note choices, and "Safe" kinda works as a 1979 update of the Flow Motion vibe. It's gritty, it's groovy, and it's sooooo German, (in a Kraftwerk way more than a typical Can way), and I like it, dagnabbit.

The next three tracks take the band into (by now) typical territory, which of course means that the rating inevitably goes down, though at least "Sodom" has somewhat of an air of morbidity. Just when I've resigned myself to the same ole head drooping, though, the album takes the ultimate left turn. Yes, I am speaking of the band's cover of "Can-Can," a track so wrong on every level that I nearly keel over laughing every time, and that's a good thing. I can see why many fans would hate it, of course; this is the kind of thing that Mannheim Steamroller spent their whole career doing, and the kind of thing people hate ELP for bringing about in the first place. But man, this isn't something the band did on a regular basis; this is a one-time joke from a band that never showed on-the-job humor, and it's an opportunity to make complete fools of themselves that the band takes full advantage of. Oh man, Karoli doesn't even try to show any "good taste" or restraint in his guitar sounds on this, a basically note-for-note cover of the original, and it's all for the better. The last track, which is basically variations on "Can-Can," is a hoot too.

A brief review of a largely insignificant album, yes, but an album I'm not sorry to have heard. The band really had no future at this point, and it was a good thing for them to break up, but there have been far worse farewell albums in history, and I'm glad to say that I really like more than twenty minutes of this.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |

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