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National Health - National Health CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 383 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Out of the ashes of one Cantebury supergroup came the formation of another. I can draw many parallels between National Health through this debut of theirs and the parent Hatfield and the North through THE ROTTER'S CLUB. As far as the sound goes, this group seems to make me think Cantebury-fusion as opposed to the previous group putting Caesar's Palace in my mind.

The absence of singing is missed largely due to Richard Sinclair committing to Camel at this time; otherwise, the group is the same as the last Hatfield album. Actually, I lie; there are scattered vocals throughout the album by one of the Northettes (Amanda Parsons). They can be shrill, but they don't happen often enough to deter what's going on musically. There are some very creative jazzy textures going on, mostly through Dave Stewart's organs and pianos.

The major problem with NATIONAL HEALTH is that while there are plenty of great ideas scattered about, there is some stale, jazzy muck you have to listen through. All songs are either of ten minutes or fourteen minutes in length (counting the two ''Borogroves'' parts as one), and as skilled as the members are, the pieces cannot sustain their lengths for long. I sometimes feel like just skipping ahead only to completely pass up a good theme.

They have the great sound, the great skill without showing off too much (barring an unneeded bass solo in ''Borogroves, Part 2''), and the jazz kudos, but there's a good amount of fluff here that drags the album along too much. Other than the excellent ''Tenemos Roads'', I'm struggling to stay attentive.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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