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Matching Mole - Little Red Record  CD (album) cover

LITTLE RED RECORD

Matching Mole

 

Canterbury Scene

3.89 | 129 ratings

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JackFloyd
3 stars A good record, but IMHO the new structures took a bit of the fun away, and with the exit of the "master of Canterbury organ" Dave Sinclair, and few Wyatt-penned pieces, not much was left to hang onto. But what was left is still worth on it's own.

Legend has it that Miller couldn't play properly during the sessions because of producer Robert Fripp, whom Phil considered to be his favourite guitarist, leading to a decline of his input, and yet, he is the true star of Little Red Record, playing intensely in songs like "Righteous Rhumba" and "Marchides" and penning songs like "Nan True's Hole".

To replace Sinclair, Dave McRae was brought in. He doesn't play any organ and his shimmering electric piano sound isn't worthy in a studio environment (it is a true monster live, though: just check March!), this creates a certain emptiness in the once rich atmosphere of the first album.

Finally, Wyatt's lyrics are a bit lacklustre if put side by side with the ones from Matching Mole, using only socialist jokes such as the one from the cover, making up for a narrow perspective. That said, some, such as the lyrics to "Gloria Gloom", are worth a laugh every now and then.

But apart from the minor quibbles, Little Red Record is a strong jazz-fusion release full of very good extended improvs and different moods, and the socialist theme is not to be taken seriously (even though Wyatt liked it's ideas).

Somehow harder to get into, less charming, and featuring a thinner production, but not less inventive than it's predecessor, Little Red Record still has a lot to give. And don't let the cover deceive or scary you, there's way less danger here than it does look like.

JackFloyd | 3/5 |

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