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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - The Roaring Silence CD (album) cover

THE ROARING SILENCE

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

 

Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 183 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

7headedchicken
4 stars The emotional solos of Mick Rodgers' are missed, and I always liked his voice a lot, but Dave Flett and Chris Hamlet Thompson are just as good, but in very different worlds. This is appropriate, since the band had already started to change their sound a bit with Nightingales and Bombers. This album follows the more dense production of that album with a group of very progressive and atmospheric songs that all have their own charms. Chris Hamlet Thompson's voice is very distinctive, one of the most expressive and recognizable voices in rock music, actually. You can tell that he puts all of his soul into every song. Dave Flett is also a very good guitarist, maybe not as seperated in individuality as Mick Rodgers, but in some ways more skilled, and he pulls out some sounds that Rodgers never neared. Actually, his and Thompson's guitar style are kind of similar, but Flett's playing has a little more oomph and edge, especially in the solos on "Blinded By the Light" and "The Road To Babylon." The other band members flaunt their vituosity as should be done, very well throughout the album, but most notably on "Starbird", one of the fastest, craziest guitar, guitar, synth battles I've ever heard. The words "wacky, far-out, extreme, and super-charged" come to mind when trying to describe this particular jam. Colin Pattenden and Chris Slade set the stage with a brisk, tightly connected jazz-fusion, very loudly played propulsion, while the three other instruments do their thing over top, with Mann earning the title I personally give him of The Hendrix of Keyboards. This band plays very well together, and it's always entertaining just to listen to this album for the music, even though there are some very good lyrics thoughout. Besides Springsteen's great ones for "Blinded By the Light", "This Side of Paradise" has some real good ones that aptly express the contempt for one living in a sad, harsh world, waiting for the rapture. The music on this one is also one of their most distinctive arrangements, with great trippy sounds and mixing, and some very hip (and I mean that in an ahead of it's time way) vocal interjections from Mann himself. There are some moments in the album where it seems that there were either too many people crowding around the mixing board, and it adds a certain staleness to the overall flavor of the album, but it's not enough to destroy any of the songs, not by a long shot. And I can understand if the coffee in the 70's tasted like it had dog food in it, but I wasn't there, so maybe that's not the reason. The acid that was likely even more present in it probably added to the fact that you just can't sink these songs, even if the track order was done a little awkwardly. (I like the album ending on a sombre note with "Questions", as it is on the original vinyl, but "Waiter, There's A Yawn In My Ear" just doesn't sound right after "Singing the Dolphin Through", and when you switch them like they did on the CD, there's something missing there too, but I think I like the CD's decision more, which is atypical for my preferences.) By the way, "Singing the Dolhpin Through" is a great song, done very strangely, but interestingly, with a sax solo that I think is a little overrated here, but a greatly expressive and textural guitar solo from Thompson that I think is grossly underrated in this same place. I'm giving the Roaring Silence 4 stars, but it's a very HIGH 4 stars, kind of like a 4.5, if you will.
7headedchicken | 4/5 |

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