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Curved Air - Air Cut CD (album) cover

AIR CUT

Curved Air

 

Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 109 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Sothoth
2 stars Why do I think of gaseous bowel expulsions when I see the words "air cut"?

As for the contents of the album labeled that name, it's not an easy collection to dive into, mainly because I find a lot of the songs just so derivative of better bands, including a prog group with the same singer and same band name. With an almost completely new lineup, Curved Air doesn't really sound much like Curved Air except for the vocals, which, to be honest, don't necessarily excel in this reconfiguration of group members. The album feels like some characters from different organizations and musical leanings just came together and decided to bust out a prog album. The music is skillfully played, and there are certain sections of songs that are memorable and interesting, but as a whole this LP comes across as merely a hodgepodge of various prog influences without any identity of its own. It's eclectic, but nothing close to original.

Opening with The Purple Speed Queen, a blatant homage to Deep Purple I guess, the album starts off on a hard rock note, but a very generic one. Sonja's vocals don't work at all here, with a particularly grating chorus that almost sounds off key. The keyboard solo was pretty groovy, I'll admit. Eddie Jobson certainly was a talented teen, but his creative sense needed work. The genre bouncing is apparent with the following number being a slight folksy (and too long) ditty called Elfin Boy.

Metamorphosis is probably the album's highlight, chock full of progginess and a long running time with various transitions of dynamics and passages. The piano solo was well done technically, but the mixing job or the decision to have it fade in volume to almost nothing for an unhealthy length of time was either a poor choice or a mishap.

The album just goes on from there, tumbling around with half baked ideas involving straight rock, some folk and classical influences. Mike Wedgwood gets to show off his vocal chops in Two-Three-Two, as if I needed another reason to bash the album, but at least it was different. Armin wasn't such a bad instrumental either, probably the only one from this album I would put within a "prog shuffle" on an MP3 player or whatnot.

I'm not sure why I didn't get any sense of adventure in this recording. Like the album's cover, it's actually kind of dismal, like each group member wanted to do different things, including not being in Curved Air.

Prog Sothoth | 2/5 |

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