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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Chance  CD (album) cover

CHANCE

Manfred Mann's Earth Band

 

Eclectic Prog

3.26 | 80 ratings

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7headedchicken
4 stars If you listen to Chance right after any of the albums from 3 or 4 albums earlier, you can see that they had started to move away from the progressive sound a little bit, and some may even consider some of the songs to be commercial sounding, but I see it more as that they were keeping an eye on the changing times and making a commentary about them, as "Lies (Through the 80's)" should serve as a good example of. There are some great lyrics on this album; some of their strongest, actually. I like the idea for using a dislaimer tag as lryics for a song with ominous synth-heavy music. ("No Gaurantee.") Manfred Mann uses his own personality effectively to sing that one very humorously. There are a lot of musicians on this album, (even Mick Rogers makes an appearance), and while it doesn't all bear close resemblance to their commonly known sound, Chris Hamlet Thompson's strong vocals are still present, and Mann's keyboards are still thick and weird, never losing sight of what has always made both of those key elements so distinctive to their sound, even if it would have helped the continuity to have Thompson sing on either more of the songs, or at least one of the later ones instead of just the first three. Steve Waller sounds right at home as an Earth Band singer, though, on "Hello, I Am Your Heart," a story of a heart breaking told from the perspective of the heart to it's owner. This song is a good example of how creative the Earth Band can be in combining lyrics, music, and production paradoxically. If anything is familiar, on this album, "Stranded" does sound a little like it could have been on Angel Station, and "Fritz the Blank" looks back to the spirit of the instrumentals from the Solar Fire period. In Bruce Springsteen's "For You", they change the sound completely (as to be expected) and even leave out a key line in the lyrics to turn the song from a tragic plea into a poweful song of hope. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up to the listener, but this version with it's loud power chord guirtars and strong rhythm section, pounding C-80 piano, and synth sweeps (not to mention Thompsons' vocals) does have a lot of verve. "Heart On the Street" also got some airplay, and is notable for being a great anthem, and for having one of their most unexpected endings.
7headedchicken | 4/5 |

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