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Can - Rite Time CD (album) cover





3.02 | 67 ratings

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3 stars The Monster Movie lineup, together again. Mooney apparently felt the grip of nostalgia after finding an old airplane ticket dating to his days in the band, but I'm not sure what exactly drove the others to decide to get back together for this (it wasn't for commercial reasons, that's for sure). My guess, though, is that it was decided early on that this was just going to be a one time thing, that they weren't going to try and make this into a serious 'renaissance,' but instead would just get together, have another fling, and that would be that. The result will naturally disappoint any fan hoping for a return to the good ole days, but come on; the band hadn't made one of those kinds of albums for well over a decade by the time they got together to start recording this.

This isn't a particularly good album, but it isn't a bad one either, and given the choice between having to listen to all of Monster Movie or this again, I'd likely pick this one. Mooney, surprisingly, is in good form throughout; I mean, he doesn't have much of a voice, but he never goes into overboard screaming fits or into endless repeated mumbling, and that's at least something. The rest of the band basically sounds like what you'd expect Can crossed (to varying degrees) with generic 80's music to sound like. Jaki isn't his former beast self, and he's got some electronic augmentation, but heck, he had some of that in the 70's, and he doesn't sound like a hack, so he's fine. Schmidt's gotten a bit too fond of generic adult contemporary sounds (especially in the longest song on the album, "Like a New Child," which oddly enough also has some really ugly noises as well), but he gets a couple of moments where you can tell it's him. And Karoli and Czukay, well, they're what they've always been.

Since nobody really cares about track-by-track analysis for a late 80's Can album, I'll just mention a select few standouts. The opening "On the Beautiful Side of a Romance" would be better if it were shorter and didn't have so many parts where the limitations of Mooney's voice are put on full display, but it has a nice atmosphere and just a little bit of the "danger" feel of old. "The Withoutlaw Man" is an amusing piece that kinda sounds like late-90's Tom Waits, except slightly cheerier and two octaves higher (and with more guitar), "Below This Level (Patient's Song)" is a sorta jazzy-poppy sci-fi number that's definitely ... unique ... and "Hoolah Hoolah" is the best I could imagine a track being that features Mooney and backing harmonies 'singing' lines like "They do wear pants in the southern side of France." And dig the circus organs in the background!

The other tracks aren't so great, but they're not horrendous, and in the end I can safely give this a decent grade. The world could have survived had a song like "Hoolah Hoolah" never been done, but it's one of the more delightful absurdities I've taken part of in my life, and quite a bit of this album is recommendable to an eclectic. Of course, hardcore Can fans will probably hate it, and non-hardcore Can fans probably wouldn't be looking for albums like this in the first place, but whatever.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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