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Caravan - Back to Front  CD (album) cover

BACK TO FRONT

Caravan

 

Canterbury Scene

2.33 | 81 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars I took years, after the first spin, to find the courage to retry this album. When I have bought it in 1982 it was a total disappointment as I was expecting a lot from the original lineup of a band able to release to of my all time favorite albums: If I could.. and In the Land...

The first disappointing thing was the cover sheet. It's a clear remind to Escher with flowers turning into birds, but what does it have to do with the album?

"Back To Herne Bay Front" is not a bad track at all. It has lost the disco-funky mood of some songs of the previous "The Album", even if I really dislike the sound used by David Sinclair on the solo. It's jazzy and the bass and vocals are quite good.

What's now? " Bet you wanna take it all / Hold on hold on" an uptime glam-rock&roll song...no, I don't need anything like this. What's the sense of releasing a pop song that would have been good in 1970 while in 1982? It wouldn't have been a success in 1970 either. In the second half (or the second song) when it slows down is a bit better. Mel Collins plays a nice solo even on a trivial base.

I have controversial feelings about "A.A. Man". It features non-trivial passages, odd signatures and Richard's voice, but it doesn't do much for me. inserted in a different album would have been different. It could have been a good filler if part of a good disc.

"Videos Of Hollywood" is a song that seems taken from Camel's I Can See Your House From Here. Probably because of Richard's vocals. If only the guitar was played by Andy Latimer.... Also the sounds used by David Sinclair are similar to those used by Camel on that album. Add Mel Collins' sax and this is a "lost Camel's song".

"Sally Don't Change it " is on the same strings but almost without drums. It's Camel more than Caravan but without Latimer. I don't know where Pye Hastings is. He could have found room for good solos on songs of this kind, but there's very few guitar here.

"All Aboard" is nothing special, a pop Caravan song to let go in the background.

"Take My Breath Away" is in my opinion the poorest track of the album. I can't find a sense in this song. It seems survived from the disaster of The Album. Already heard and already discarded.

"Proper Job" starts similar to Nine Feet Underground. Of course it's just few seconds. It sounds like an attempt to return to the good moments and effectively there are moment in this closer that can remind to better moments. Add to this Mel's sax and the result is not that bad.

Back to Front is not totally back. Even if surely better than "The Album" (doing better wasn't a hard thing to do), it still doesn't deserve the third star, but apart of 3 weak songs all the rest is listenable and there are tracks of the old goodies.

2.5 stars

octopus-4 | 2/5 |

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