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Colosseum - Valentyne Suite CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 349 ratings

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3 stars A very nice album, but I wouldn't dare to call it masterpiece. Despite the fact that the album contains side-long suite, I won't consider it more progressive than, let's say, TULL's "This was".

This is very good blues album with some hard-prog tendencies. Let' see: "The Kettle" is a simple hard rock tune with catchy riff (I heard the very same riff few days ago sampled and used in some hip hop crap or something...ah, whatever). Nice harsh vocal and flashy wah-wah guitar. "Elegy" is beautiful downtempo jazz-blues in old school fashion. The same goes for "Butty's Blues". "The Machine Demands A Sacrifice" is another hard-rocker with psychedelic touch and nice ending. I'm wondering if the word "computer" is used in lyrics here for the first time in the history of music. Anyone?

And now, COLOSSEUM's epic, the mighty "Valentyne Suite"...well, I don't know. It's 16 and a half minutes long, undoubtedly progressive, with beautiful long opening Hammond solo (with fragments of melodies borrowed from Bach) and unforgettable solo on vibes. Brass section works really well, and after the end of the first theme, the whole suite calms down...and goes not so inspiring. I won't say dull, because there are few nice moments and chord progressions, but the second and the third theme are just not on the same level with the first one.

Don't get me wrong. All the tracks are gorgeous, band members are outstanding technicians, (Greenslade himself is a genius), and I can go that far and say that if we remove all the technical facts, we still have one soulful album full of spirit and passion.

This is a good record. The problem is, after years of listening it doesn't grow on me any more (unlike some other real prog masterpieces), it sounds dated and average. I would rather prefer to have an album full of good blues tracks (as on side A) or fully developed suite with more than three themes spread over two sides of LP. This is one of the first side long tracks in prog history, and I do respect that effort. Beside that, this is just very good blues rock album. A little bit more than three stars, really.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |


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