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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis? CD (album) cover

CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.54 | 307 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

rogerthat
3 stars And here we have the reason why Supertramp is not held up as one of the great bands of the 70s in the same way as Pink Floyd or The Who even though Crime of the Century enjoys tremendous popularity. Crisis? What Crisis? lacks both consistency and focus and while decent enough in its own right, can feel like a huge letdown as the followup to Crime of the Century.

At the outset, the band seem to face the dilemma of many other bands that broke through: should they change or should they reprise the winning formula? On the one hand, some songs like Easy Does It or Sister Moonshine are so, well, smooth you can hardly believe it is Supertramp. The trademark Supertramp tension is nowhere in sight in these songs. On the other, songs like Ain't Nobody But Me seem to be trying too hard to capture 'past' glory.

The album's biggest problem, though, is that chief songwriters Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson have already started pulling too much in different directions. It is, paradoxically, also what keeps the album lively and lets some of their talents individually shine through. Had they been too committed as a group to a successful followup, the results could have been even more bland. MAYBE, this is all just conjecture, so do take it with a pinch of salt for your guess is as good as mine.

So, anyway, Davies and Hodgson's styles and preferences begin to stand out rather clearly on this album where on Crime...they somehow coalesced into one cohesive whole. Another Man's Woman bears the distinct signature of Davies while Soapbox Opera has got to be Hodgson.

As I said earlier, it is a problem to the extent that it robs the album of focus. But, Another Man's Woman is a superb song with the band taking another stab at fashioning a spine chilling coda. While this one is not quite as gripping as Crime of the Century (song), it works very well. Soapbox Opera is up and down and seems to slump in parts but overall makes a strong impression. On 'Lady', their styles meet and result in arguably the best track of the album. It's certainly my favourite, has both the foot tapping appeal of Hodgson and the keyboard magic of Davies.

I might have ignored the lack of focus and rounded off the rating to a four had the songs at least been consistently strong. Unfortunately, the album sort of goes to sleep on the last three tracks. Just A Normal Day is quite promising initially but fizzles out in spite of a riveting saxophone solo while The Meaning and Two of Us don't even gather that much momentum. As a matter of fact, for a long time, I would never get beyond Poor Boy, the last great track in running order on the album, in my opinion.

Overall, a good album with some strong tracks but leaves you feeling shortchanged given the considerable talents of both masterminds as well as the rest of the band. Unfortunately, that feeling tends to persist with some of their other releases as well. Lack of quality control? Who knows but Crisis? What Crisis? ultimately flatters to deceive. 3 stars.

rogerthat | 3/5 |

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