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Slapp Happy - Desperate Straights (with Henry Cow) CD (album) cover

DESPERATE STRAIGHTS (WITH HENRY COW)

Slapp Happy

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.81 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Since their previous album (Casablanca Moon) Slapp Happy united with Henry Cow, the result of which is this album. Strangely, even though the songs are less accessible than in Casablanca Moon, they are generally short - ranging from just under 2 minutes to just over 3.

The change in style is immediately apparent from the first track. Dagmar's singing style has changed a lot - her singing actually makes me think of a witch, but in a good, interesting way. The style has changed from being as melodic to a lot more experimental, leading to the use of odd chord progressions and rhythms. To my ears, this is a welcome change, for while Casablanca Moon was enjoyable, it was rarely exciting. On this album, there is a lot more interesting things going on, and a total of 11 really interesting tracks.

Unfortunately, there are two tracks on this album that kind of mess with the flow, each being longer than the other tracks and each being an instrumental. The first is the title track, Desperate Straights, which eventually settles on a rather un-interesting segment of music, which it then repeats for a while before fading out. It feels like it was not properly fleshed out. The other is the last track, Caucasion Lullaby, which I think actually creates a really cool, eerie atmosphere - it just doesn't sit well with the rest of the album.

Despite these two tracks, this is definitely an enjoyable album, and a step up from their previous. Unfortunately, this would be the last album that the band would record until the late '90s (although they would all participate on Henry Cows next album).

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |

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