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Curved Air - Air Cut CD (album) cover

AIR CUT

Curved Air

 

Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 101 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

osheadyer
4 stars Review by mrgd 'Curved Air' was a UK band plagued by personnel changes which never allowed them to realise their vast potential.Driving forces Monkman and Way left after the release of 'Phantasmagoria' and UK and US tours in 72.Sonja Kristina who proved to be the pillar of the band and new bassist Mike Wedgwood were then joined by the prodigious teenagers Kirby Gregory and Eddie Jobson ,with the drum stool being now warmed by Jim Russell.'Air Cut' was recorded with this line-up in 73, but alas,this incarnation lasted but a handful of short months before it self destructed, more's the pity. Now, with the re-release of this album on CD,there has been some rekindled interest in it- and justifiably so.I recommend that you read the excellent reviews of 'salmacis' and 'ghost rider' as well .They provide nice incites into the nuances of each track . It's true then that 'Air Cut' is not representative of the band's music established by the Monkman/Way eras, but make no mistake, this album lacks for nothing as a result- it's as exquisite as it is harder edged.The band is firing and the skills and chops of Russell,Kirby and Wedgwood are well forward in the mix for all to hear.They provide much of the harder and heavier edge to the band, moreso than their predecessors.However, the revelation is Jobson who comes to the fore with classically influenced piano,soaring synths and heavy organ sounds ,placing him on a par with the very best keyboard exponents of the era [and some may say,leaving them in his wake].Couple this with his violin skills and his song writing ,all of the highest quality, and you'd expect this young man's musical future to be absolutely assured.Of course, we all know he joined Roxy Music,Tull,Zappa and ultimately UK, but has he realised all that potenetial.....? Well,that's another story. 'Metamorphosis',his main contribution, is close to the complete progressive rock experience combining driving,heavier themes with almost lilting melodies [check out Jobson's piano/synth interlude ,about 3 mins. in,later punctuated by Kristina's haunting vocal before it inevitably re-establishes it's initial pace]. Other tracks to savour are Sonja's acid-folk laden and equally haunting 'Elfin Boy', the instrumental 'Armin', a Kirby contribution in 'UHF' and my two faves. 'Two,Three,Two' and 'Easy'. 'Two, Three,Two' is a Mike Wedgwood song which absolutely rocks, driven by Kirby's solos.Any self respecting rock guitarist wants to cook like this! But, 'Easy' is the most compelling of listens, with Sonja's vocals setting the power and pace.Yes, she can be stridenly powerful, but only in the context of the heavier moments of which there are many.But it's mainly her haunting softer moments that endure on this album.'Easy' though, takes off and finishes the album with such power that it leaves the listener thinking or even openly expleting ..."WOW". What's more ,it can still have this effect . Because it has stood the time test, it's 4.4999 stars for that WOW factor ,for mine.[I don't believe in 5s except in the most exceptional cases and this is as close as you can possibly get. Buy and listen in the knowledge that you're in for something special].

| 4/5 |

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