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Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1829 ratings

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5 stars Where most progressive rock bands have such telling characteristics like being deep and profound, musically complex and mystifying, Caravan sounds like a member of the minority where the sound is (and I'm trying to be as descriptive here as possible) - a fleeting, joyous sonic carnival. This is the characteristic that shines through on their 1973 album: In The Land Of Gray And Pink.

Let's play word-relation for a while. What is the one word that pops into my head when I listen to this record? Gypsies. yes. definitely "gypsies". Now maybe that's just an effect of the band's name being what it is, but then again. the use of woodwinds, the whimsical and carefree ambiance throughout. no, it just isn't the band's name.

This album does not have one ounce of heaviness on it. Well, maybe an ounce, but that's it. The first half of the album - the first four of the five songs - is a lighthearted affair that starts with the blissful "Golf Girl", which introduces us to Caravan's relatively unconventional musical style as well as their penchant for creating a really catchy melody. Prog-pop anyone?

This is the general feel that continues on for a couple more songs, until it reaches its peak on the title track, which is the perfect example of what most people describe the Canterbury sound to be - having a certain dreaminess and psychedelia as well as enigmatic lyrics, and a touch of jazz. Watch out for the piano work on this song - it is a beauty.

The final track, Nine Feet Underground, is for me simply a masterpiece. More than half of it is a instrumental mix of haunting melodies and perplexing harmonies; and, although it goes on for almost 23 minutes, it still leaves you wanting for more far after it ends. On this musical masterclass, the band is able to showcase their heavier and more ominous side, taking influences from hard rock among other things.

In The Land of Grey and Pink is definitely an album I'd recommend as 1) Progressive Rock for people who don't like Progressive Rock; or, 2) Progressive Rock for Beginners. It's accessible without shoving itself down the listener's throats like most mainstream pop tracks... but that's not saying you wouldn't actually want it to be shoved down your throat... because that's just how good this is.

lastdodobird | 5/5 |


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