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Supertramp - Even In The Quietest Moments ... CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.98 | 625 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars On this 1977 release, Supertramp recovered from the relatively average Crisis, What Crisis?, and produced an album that gave us all that very rare beast - an album dripping with classic prog yet instantly accessible. It also garnered commercial success for the band, including a hit single in the album opener, Give A Little Bit, a Hodgson track which is wonderfully catchy and relentlessly upbeat. It is, actually, a nice way to open as a comparison to the contrasting downbeat mood on the predecessor album.

As per usual, there are the entirely separate Davies & Hodgson compositions, and, equally as per usual, it is easy to dismiss the former as being the throwaway compositions. That would be unfair. Lover Boy is an amusing, and very well performed, piece of whimsy about an erstwhile playboy. Downstream is a lovely piece of music, taking the listener on a quiet barge down a lovers river trip. It is, of course, quintessentially English, somewhat ironic given the band's now permanent residence in America.

However, Davies saves his best for his last track on the album, From Now On. This is an utterly superb composition, and right up there with his best from Crime. It proves once again that Davies is at his best when writing and performing tracks rooted in real life social experiences, in this case the drab reality of working class life and worthlessness in 1970's Great Britain, but twisted with a wonderful irony of the subject dreaming of a life of luxury and riches. Davies sings his heart out, especially when stating that he will be losing everything he has. As with a lot of classics, this is a simple song brilliantly executed, and is up there with the band's best. Helliwell's solo is wonderfully mournful, and the climax builds to a huge crescendo.

So, to Hodgson. As stated before, the opening hit single is a joy. The title track is beautifully produced and performed (get the remastered CD for the full effect), with one of the best oboe performances in the history of prog. Its mood is in complete contrast to Give A Little Bit - Hodgson drips with mournful regret at his lot in life, although I really do think that Davies is more convincing in the fact that his contributions are rooted in real life, as opposed to this being a mere fantasy whinge.

Babaji is fun without coming anywhere near classic status, and is, I believe, the result of Hodgson moving onto his religious cult camp stage, where he met his wife. Hippies are us, I suppose.

However, he, too, saves his very best until last. Album closer, Fool's Overture, is a genuine prog classic, a powerhouse of a track which gives a lie to those who believe that all the band did was short nonsense. Right from the first, bluesy piano opening, to the electric finale, this track oozes class, brilliant orchestration, and symphonic joy. It is also one of those pieces of music which really allows the listener to take from it whatever meaning he/she wishes. My take on this is the folly of politicians, their wars, and general preponderance to make life miserable for the ordinary person, but, whatever it means, Churchill makes a grand entrance in the Never Surrender speech, and Hodgson proves that he, too, is at his very best when he sings with real passion and conviction. The band never sounded better backing him, especially Thomson on bass during the "rip it up, let's go crazy" sequence.

This is not an easy album to rate. It is, overall, an excellent piece of work, but, in my opinion, the throwaway nature of Babaji and the slight disappointment of the title track render it short of a masterpiece. It does, however, quite easily rate as an excellent album, and a very important one in the band's and genre's history.

If you don't have it, then this one comes very highly recommended. Four stars.

lazland | 4/5 |


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