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Kevin Ayers - Yes We Have No Mananas CD (album) cover

YES WE HAVE NO MANANAS

Kevin Ayers

 

Canterbury Scene

2.57 | 12 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Blue for you

Having previously left Harvest records and signed up for Island, Kevin Ayers made his return to the Harvest label with this album. His previous album, "Sweet deceiver" is retrospectievly perceived by fans of Ayers as being the start of his decline, and "Yes we have no Mamanas" is seen as a continuation of that decline.

In reality, while it is far from a classic, it is not a bad album. Admittedly, there are a few too many disposable pop based tracks, but the album is almost completely redeemed by the classic closing track. "Blue" may still be somewhat removed from Ayers' Soft Machine influences, but this wonderfully atmospheric ballad is a true classic in every sense. During the six and a half minutes of the track, Ayers moves from understated melancholy verses through powerful refrains and some of his finest guitar work ever, to a climax of choral vocals and ethereal guitar. A truly moving experience.

Other highlights rapidly become hard to spot. "Star" is a bluesy number, once again featuring female backing vocals and some good guitar. And that's about it. There are a few too many whimsical numbers, with the pop based "Mr Cool" ("Oh Mr. Hot don't you think you're cool 'cos you're not") being immediately followed by "The owl", a pleasant but lightweight number. "Ballad of Mr. Snake" plumbs the depths further, sounding like a Monty Python outtake. The penultimate track, "Yes I do" has some fine piano accompaniment in an effectively sparse arrangement, and thus forms an appropriate precedent to the aforementioned "Blue".

The star rating for the album reflects the inclusion of "Blue", otherwise this album would have been foundering in the collectors only department.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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