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Slapp Happy - Desperate Straights (with Henry Cow) CD (album) cover

DESPERATE STRAIGHTS (WITH HENRY COW)

Slapp Happy

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.81 | 39 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars As Slapp Happy saw Henry Cow playing live and were being deeply impressed, this album can be seen as the turning point as well as their single Europe. While it still has a few weird songs (well Dagmar's voice makes them automatically off-beat) that can remind you of their previous album, the help of Henry Cow both on production but also in playing the music. If Blegvad had been the main writer in the previous album, here the writing credits are definitely more even, with Moore even slightly tipping the balance in his favor.

Again a very nutty album, and it takes sound nerves to actually enjoy this kind of weirdness. RIO, in a way, avant-garde certainly, I have a problem recommending this kind of album to any proghead, because I always fear it might be "hors de propos", even if the album holds many qualities that are endearing to them. Some track are are reminding me of Julvene's En Ballade album, or even their other albums with a string quintet of sorts. Other tracks have a much rockier feel most impressively an adaptation of Handel's the Messiah. Then comes the weird, somber and gloomy 8-min+ Caucasian Lullaby (half written by HC's Cutler).

The first of two collaborations between Slapp Happy and Henry Cow, (the next being the highly rated In Praise Of Learning), this album is an essential piece of madness that must be heard at least once in a proghead's life. Whether the proghead should choose to further his investigation of this bizarre music is something altogether different.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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