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Supertramp - Crime Of The Century CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.31 | 1454 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars I can still remember when I first listened to this album, over twenty years ago. It literally floored me, and since then it's ranked among my all-time favourites. Supertramp may have the reputation of being somewhat 'prog-lite', but boy, could they play and write superb songs at the time! Even a really 'easier' album like "Breakfast in America" can still show many bands how to go about writing tracks which are at the same time catchy and musically complex.

"Crime of the Century" is much darker than you could think, especially if (like me at the time) you first got to know Supertramp through "Breakfast in America" and hit single "The Logical Song". The album is a sort of concept, the lyrics dealing with such weighty topics as education, loneliness and alienation. The music is strongly keyboard-orientated, with a rich, almost orchestral feeling to many of the compositions. The two lead singers, helium- voiced Roger Hodgson (even higher-pitched than early Geddy Lee, but very effective throughout) and the deeper, gruff Rick Davies, complement each other perfectly, especially when singing different parts of the same song; they are also the main writers in the band.

As to individual tracks, the only weaker links are the rather slushy "If Everyone Was Listening", where Hodgson's vocals sound a bit too plaintive for comfort, and the poppy "Dreamer" with its lame chorus. The other tracks are all very strong, but some stand out from the rest: the opening "School", building up slowly from its acoustic beginning to a middle section with wonderful, frantic piano by Davies; the lively "Bloody Well Right", sung by Davies in an almost aggressive way in order to complement the angry lyrics; "Rudy", sung by Davies at the beginning, with the two vocalists playing each other off and finally joining their voices in the urgent, almost frantic final section; and obviously the dramatic "Crime of the Century", which consists mostly of a haunting instrumental crescendo underpinned by J.A. Helliwell's mournful sax. Though this album is over 30 years old, it still sounds fresh and moving. I can't recommend it highly enough to all lovers of great music.

Raff | 5/5 |


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