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Automatic Man - Automatic Man CD (album) cover


Automatic Man


Crossover Prog

3.65 | 30 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well, well, I finally hunted down this old contentious sucker, had it on vinyl when it came out and even though the cover artwork warned me not to sell it off, I did so, much to my recent regret. I was visited one night while asleep and this big-eyed blue hue whispered to me that I need to reintroduce this back into the fold. Ok, bossman, just don't tell Mulder and Scully!

Anything with Santana's muscular Michael Shrieve participating should be of interest, though this is no jazz-rock effort, in fact not even remotely close to Abraxas or Caravanserai. When Shrieve left the studio after the Yamash'ta/Winwood/Shrieve project was complete, he stayed in contact with bassist Doni Harvey and axeman Pat Thrall, the three connected with keyboardsman Bayete Todd Cochran (who would later star with Peter Gabriel). Let's get one thing straight, this is no masterpiece by a long shot, more a very curious, extremely original take on jazz/funk/space/pop/rock that has no parallels and as such is meritorious of inclusion in the prog pantheon. The overall sound is nothing glorious but there is such charm emanating from this unpretentious group, relying on Pat Thrall to illuminate the guitar skies, held down solidly by the Harvey/Shrieve foundation. Bayete masters a wide variety of keys, synths, clavinets and such but his vocals are weak in my opinion. Some pretty good funky rock tunes like "My Pearl", "Coming Through", "One 'N One" that are pleasant listens Then there some that are not quite as appealing such as the undercooked "Newspapers" which has moments but is mistreated by poor vocals and shoddy production. Similarly, "Geni-Geni" and "Right Back Down" fail to impress beyond the acceptable.

There are some incredible tracks here such as "There's A Way" with its great solo guitar and insistent like a hornet bass rant , the awesome and memorable title track, the Bowie- esque "Interstellar Tracking Devices" and the finale "Atlantis Rising Theme", all conveniently packed at the end of the album.

A good album that has its merits and deserving of cursory interest. Fantastic cover art though, Spoooooooky!

3.5 robots

tszirmay | 3/5 |


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