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Procol Harum - Something Magic CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 125 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is my favorite Procol album (don't shoot me!), as it seems, to my ears, to be the most coherent album since the Trower-era and certainly the most creative one since "Grand Hotel"! Opening with one of the most bombastic orchestral licks I've ever heard on a 'rock' album, with some incredible drumwork by BJ Wilson, I knew at first listen that this truly was "Something Magic". Add in Keith Reid's phenenomal lyrics (no surprise) and you get words to fit the dark, epic music that fronts such an underrated album.

Next is "Skating on Thin Ice", a song which almost has a circus feel to it, with trombones and clarinets adding an ironic feel to the lyrics and beautiful female vocals (which I'm a sucker for ... I can't lie!). The next piece, "Wizard Man" (available on my vinyl copy, but not on my CD...) is, in my opinion, the weak spot. Its the most 'rock' song, but its not bad ... it just doesn't fit the mood of the album at all. "Mark of the Claw" is a step back in the right direction - a musical horror film, with even classic door creaks and screams at the end. A creative tune with a great riff and an excellent guitar solo. "Strangers in Space" is nearly a soul tune, but in a 'spacey' (no pun intended) way, with the synths creating a beautiful backdrop that almost sounds like Pink Floyd at times.

Last, is the much maligned "Worm and the Tree", Procol's final epic suite, much like "In Held Twas in I". To my ears, "Worm" is much more mature than "In Held", as it tells an allegorical fairy tale of a worm crawling into a tree and eating it away from the inside. Every man's interpretation is his own, but Procol themselves have admitted that "In Held" really isn't about anything and "Worm" obviously is! Now which one is pretentious? I never really got how that word got around, as it seems to be applied (many times unjustly) to prog that a person doesn't like. Personally, I enjoy both epics and despise the word 'pretentious' and asked only a rhetorical question. But I digress ... there is also some fantastic music here to compliment the words, much like Tull's "The Hare" (another much maligned piece that I adore!) and ends with one of the most startlingly simple and effective ways I've ever heard ... just a reprisal of the opening piano lick that clues the listener that the work is reoccuring (Pink Floyd's "Isn't this where we came in?" comes to mind).

Overall a fine work, to my ears, and my personal favorite Harum record.

Zombywoof | 5/5 |


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