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Babe Ruth - First Base CD (album) cover


Babe Ruth


Heavy Prog

3.71 | 142 ratings

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4 stars This was my second album after I knew the third one through melodic song "The Duchess of Orleans". This album has some prog elements in most of tracks featured. In addition to original line-up, the band brought together string chamber musicians: four musicians to play cello, Brent Carter on Sax, and Caspar Lawal on congas, bongos and kabasa. Alan Shacklock did all the arrangements and co-produced the album with Nick Mobs. Looking at the number of musicians contribute in this debut album, it seems a grandiose effort.

"Wells Fargo" (6:17) kicks off the album with an energetic style in relatively fast tempo music combining excellent percussion, guitar riffs and powerful vocal by Janita Haan. Saxes also provide its role during interlude. "The Runaways" (7:27) is very melodic song, heavily influenced by classical music combined with Mexican style. It's a mellow track that blends powerful and transparent vocal of Janita Haan and cello work. The song moves nicely in crescendo with variations in cello augmented with piano work. "King Kong" (6:44) is a wonderful instrumental piece with great keyboard / piano solo and energetic rhythm section, augmented with guitar work.

"Black Dog" (8:03) is a wonderfully crafted composition which begins with a soft guitar fills followed with bass lines in bluesy style that accompany low register notes voice lines. The opening line is really a melodic segments. The song moves gradually with drum work and at approx minute 2:24 the song enters into a stream of great arrangements with inventive piano work. The piano work reminds me to the work of Cuby + Blizard. The exploration of piano solo is really a good treat esoeceially it's combined with great guitar fills and Janita Haan's higher register notes. This song ends up wonderfully at the ending part with uplifting music in high points with stunning guitar work.

As the title implies, "The Mexican" (5:49) explores the Mexican music through nice combination between dynamic keyboard work, solid bass lines, powerful vocal. The song is very uplifting. The vocal quality of Janita Haan reminds me to the voice of Atlantis / Frumpy's lead singer Inga Rumpf. The song turns into a truly Mexican with the interpretation of "per qalche dollaroin piu" at the end of the track - it's typically a theme commonly used in cowboy / djangos movies. The album concludes brilliantly with "Joker" (7:43) which explores percussion, guitar riffs and great vocal lines.

Overall, I cannot identify any lacking of this album as every individual track is an excellent composition. This debut album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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