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Caravan - For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night CD (album) cover

FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT

Caravan

 

Canterbury Scene

4.16 | 684 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars

Swapping the Sinclairs....

Respect to Waterloo Lily this album represents a step back in the ambient as the strong jazzy flavour wanted by Richard Sinclair is gone with him while the old dreaming keyboard backgrounds are back with David Sinclair. As result, this album is more "Caravan".

We are still in 1973 and the band is not yet in its descending path. Unlike the previous albums, this time the opener is a long and complex track which inherits some of the jazzy mood of its predecessor, but with a great old-fashioned flute performance by Jimmy Hastings and is effectively compsed by two different songs, the second of them practically British glamour rock.

Also Hoedown has a glam mood on a country-rock tempo but it's nothing more than a nice short song.

The optimistic side of Caravan is shown by "Surprise, Surprise". A song that can be defined by single word: English. Regerdless the lyrics, the sensation that it gives me is of a Sunday morning in a small English town, even if the cello solo may give it a touch of yankee.

"C'Thlu Thlu" is a discutible track. Good from a musical point of view is totally unable to recreate the dark evil situations of Lovecraft's weird horrors, something that Arzachel did very well, instead. So forget the lyrics and the inspiration and just enjoy the song that in the second half is at the level of the instrumental parts of Winter Wine.

"The Dog, The dog He's at it Again" is another typical Caravan's song. Richard Sinclair's vocals are missing but they supply with more choirs and with less acid sounds coming from the keyboards.

I don't want to say that this album starts weakly, but it really goes better while proceeding to the end. "Be Alright" is unusually uptime for this band and the choirs make me think to Wishbone Ash more than to Canterbury. Also the guitar is a bit different: Pye is very less acid so his guitar sounds more Floydian, even if in the background. Also "Chance Of A Lifetime" (physically the same track as the previous) is mellow and has something of Ash's "Front Page News" (released 3 years after this). The part with the cello solo is very Canterbury instead. It's very good but I don't understand why using the cello instead of Jimmy's bass flute.

The last track is a medley of 4 songs opened by the cello again helped by a classical guitar. When the odd signature arrives the song is comparable to the best things of the 2nd and 3rd album.

I'm undecided between three and four stars. It's surely good, but is it an "excellent" addition? If they weren't Caravan and they hadn't released two masterpieces before I'd say yes. Trying to separate this album from the Caravan's history I think every progger can like it, so I'm rounding up to 4 what I think is a 3.5 stars album. One of the last good ones from this band.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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