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Caravan - For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.16 | 684 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
5 stars Boasting one of the better album titles in the prog world, this effort added just a bit more oomph to the Caravan sound by adding more emphasis on guitar rhythms, resulting in what happens to be my favorite album by the band. It brings the prog, but with a bit more swagger than the "prog to go with your tea and crumpets" feel I get from some of their output, while not losing the sense of humour and lack of self-importance to go with their musical chops.

The opening guitar riff sets the tone...a groovy bluesy little ditty that soon gets punctuated by a solid beat, but it doesn't take long until the listener realizes this isn't some Doobie Brothers clone. A nice opening epic split into two parts, it's basically like two separate individually cool songs cohesively joined at the rump. By the following track, there's a sense of inspiration that branches out from the Canterbury scene to include aspects from the San Francisco jam scene, some country flair and rootin' tootin' that doesn't detract from the quality, but gives it a fresh style. In fact, this album seems to have aged far better than most prog albums from the golden era by having many traits associated with the much later Burlington Vermont jam band scene, for better or worse. The amusing and occasionally raunchy lyrics, the guitar sound (fairly distorted but not heavy by any means), the rock riffs that combine with an overall jazziness, the soft pleasant vocals...yeah, it can occasionally sound just a bit phishy, but with cooler tunes and more variety of instrumentation. Playing this for your typical dreadlocked bike couriers & Bohemian babes just might have them gorging on an extra helping of Ben & Jerry's ice cream as a sign of approval (maybe growing plump in the night as a result). Maybe I'm wrong due to the lack of limp white reggae, but whatever.

There's a pretty good scope of what this particular incarnation of the band could pull off, from the trippy folk of Surprise, Surprise to the great and almost doomish C'thlu thlu, a song which automatically makes this album essential by default. The instrumental with the crazy long title at the end is quite a nice adventure through various soundscapes on its own accord, ending the album on an epic note much like it began. Truth is, every song is fantastic in its own way, with a unique blend of styles for its time and a strong sense of creativity. It's definitely the album I first turn to when I'm in the mood for some Caravan.

Prog Sothoth | 5/5 |


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