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Sweet Smoke - Darkness To Light CD (album) cover


Sweet Smoke


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.12 | 50 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Made in India

Sweet Smoke recorded just two studio albums, this the second one being released in 1972. After finding some success in Europe with their first album "Just a poke", the band expanded from a five piece to seven members and spent some time in India before recording a follow up album. As a result, Indian influences are clearly perceptible on "Darkness to light", which is a more diverse collection than their first release.

This album consist of two of the more familiar longer pieces, plus four short song based numbers. The opening "Just an empty dream" is a reasonably commercial melodic ballad, with similarities to early CHICAGO, and perhaps even a nod to CROSBY STILLS AND NASH. "Believe me my friends" is similar in structure, but more upbeat, almost country at times, the predominant violin offering comparisons with the music of KANSAS.

There are two longer tracks, both lasting around 13 minutes. "Kundalini" is the most vivid illustration of the Indian influences which the band picked up while there, with sitars and Hari Krishna type vocals. As the track develops, it becomes a more orthodox jazz number, with scat singing plus freeform guitar and sax.

"Darkness to light" which closes the album is a rather uninspired affair, which moves through solos by various instruments and chanted renditions of the title. The track is altogether just a bit too loose, and lacking in direction. The other two tracks, "I'd rather burn than disappear" and "Show me the way to the war" are slightly more rock orientated, with starker vocals. They are dull though, with little to distinguish them in either rock or jazz terms.

The diversity of this album is in some ways its downfall. While "Just a poke" was a reasonably well focused jazz rock based album, "Darkness to light" is a crude concoction of unrelated influences, which do not sit together all that well.

Best avoided.

The two Sweet Smoke studio albums, "Just a poke" and "Darkness to light" are now available together on a single remastered CD.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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