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Supertramp - Brother Where You Bound CD (album) cover

BROTHER WHERE YOU BOUND

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.63 | 398 ratings

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Axel Dyberg
4 stars This album is the first Supertramp album in which Roger had left the band, thus losing a great songwriter and singer. I feel that this opened up the darker sides of Rick Davies, and this album is far darker in mood and atmosphere than any other Supertramp album I've heard. I feel that this album is quite underrated, even for a Supertramp.

1. Canonball (7:40) opens up the album with a dashing G chord on the piano, very cool. Soon the drumming by Bob Siebenberg comes along, and this leads into the first verse with poppy lyrics. The song is quite jazzy, but the drumming stays rocky. This is a very good collaboration. After another verse we get absolutely great piano and sax playing, which as always makes the Supertramp songs what they are. Some great, funky guitar playing by Marty Walsh, who's the rhythm guitarist throughout this album, follows and then leads into another great verse. Unfortunately this song doesn't have many drum fills. After another verse the song drifts into a small instrumental passage with the piano and drumming still going strong. After some time the sax playing is loud again, and this section is brilliant, but again there is little to no change every time the riff repeats. However, we get a small change after that in which the synthesizer is louder than before. After some more time we get that awesome saxophone riff again, which leads into a new verse. The lyrics are again pretty poppy and cliché, but it's always nice to have that sometimes. This goes into a James Bond like bridge, where the piano playing is very ''action movie theme'' like I guess. The lyrics are a bit more progressive here, and so is the music playing, which leads into a brilliant synthesizer solo by Rick Davies. This goes on for another minute and the song fades out. Again, very brilliant synth solo. Great song as well.

2. Still In Love (4:36) opens up with some stunning saxophone playing, very jazzy. Again, John Helliwell's saxophone playing always gives that extra thing needed in Supertramp songs. This leads into the most poppy song on the album, with poppy piano playing and drumming. The lyrics are of course about love. However they're quite interesting for such a song. The chorus is pretty cool, and this leads into the opening piano playing again, and another verse comes along. After this poppy verse another awesome chorus comes in, and after that a great saxophone solo kicks in, with the guitar in the background to. Brilliant I say, and after this we are given another verse which is great too. The song carries on like before, with the verse-chorus format until the end, but it fades out with a saxophone solo which is also great, just like the previous one.

We are now introduced to the darker songs, which take up the majority of the album.

3. No Inbetween (4:41) is a very sad song. Emotional piano playing and lyrics makes this on of the best songs on the album. It opens up with that emotional piano playing, and the beautiful singing comes in. This verse might not seem relevant at first, but listen to the whole song to figure out. Another beautiful verse segues in, and the lyrics are again absolutely sad and brilliant. The incredibly awesome bridge comes in now, with very dark piano playing and lyrics. The singing marks the spot here, and if you don't enjoy this then you'll probably not enjoy the title track. Another beautiful verse graces our ears, and the lyrics really explain the story here. Now to the part I long for every time: the second incredible bridge. The jazzy drumming is here as well. After this, an emotional saxophone solo appears which gets me every time. It's so awesome! After this however, the first verse appears agaom and thus finishes the story. Now we get one final verse, which contains a promise that the protagonist can't keep. Listen closely. What an incredible song, really shows us how Supertramp were capable of writing dark songs.

4. Better Days (6:16) starts out with chaotic piano playing, and this song is perhaps the most agressive on the entire album. After the first piano section, another one arises with the most brilliant piano playing on the album! You hear a speech in the background, which is very interesting. A synthesiazer dominated section arises from this, and goes on until the first verse is given to us. The rhythm is very present here. Again, this is a dark song with interesting lyrics. Palm muted guitar playing joins us in the second verse, which drifts into the chorus which is brilliant. Reminds me of The Show Must Go On by Queen, instrumentally that is. Overdubbed vocals lead into the crazily awesome flute section. Reminds me A LOT of Jethro Tull. Another verse comes in with more instruments layered on top of everthing. This leads into another great chorus and this goes on into the three minute instrumental section which closes off the song. This contains a lot of pre recorded speeches combined with the jazzy drumming and pinao playing. And of course, the awesome saxophone playing. This leads the song into the ending, which is a fade out again.

5. Brother Where You Bound (16:30) is Supertramp's Magnum Opus, at least to me. Running sixteen minutes in length it is Supertramp's longest song. It's the darkest song they've ever written and perhaps the best one. It opens up with a strange speech which soon leads into the creepy synthesizer playing by riff. This is the opening sequence of this masterpiece. More speeches are coming to us, which are all pretty interesting to listen to. The synthesizer playing goes on like normal, and this proceeds until 01.40 where the piano playing comes in. The section in this particular very floating, with the synthesizer backing the piano up. The first verse comes in with very interesting lyrics. After three lines, the very heavy and emotional last line comes in... ''Hey Brother... Where You Bound?'' Another verse with even more interesting lyrics comes in, with the last sentence again being heavy and dark in mood. The last sentence is repeated once again, which leads into the guitar playing and wind effects. And fast section comes in after this, which I consider the bridge of the song, although I'm probably wrong. This seciton is repeated with new lyrics again, and overall the song is just so awesome that it's unexplainable. This leads into an instrumental passage with a brilliant saxophone solo going strong over the piano playing. Another verse comes in after this, with the vocals emotional, almost screamed out. Which to me is awesome! This time he says ''Hey Brother... Where's Your Soul?''. This drifts into another bridge with overdubbed vocals, very awesome. The lyrics make great sense here, so pay attention all the time. After all, this song is about the Cold War. This leads into another instrumental passage which is slower and much more bluesy than the previous. A small guitar fill is played here, and a new ''verse'' is brought to us, but this time in another style. Great vocals here combined with great lyrics makes for one of the best sections in the song. Another verse in this matter is introduced, in which Rich screams his voice out and to me, this is very emotional. A very brief guitar solo by David Gilmour is played here, reminds me a lot of the second guitar solo in Comfortably Numb. It drifts into another instrumental passage, which is the most chaotic section on the entire album. Random piano notes are played at high speeds with fast drumming on the cymbals too. In the background you hear people screaming, msot obviously a little girl. I think is reflecting all the panic of the Cold War. Anyways, I can easily say that this isn't something you'd play for enjoying music. Like I said, it's very chaotic and reflects the panic and again, chaos of the Cold War. After this you hear steps, and this goes into beautiful guitar playing which is very epic. The bass soon joins. And more and more instruments are added all the time. Robotoms are played every now and then, which is freaking awesome! At 11:54 the song takes a new, much more sad direction. After some beautiful playing by each of the members, really remarkable synth playing by Rick the song goes into a slow section, which goes faster and faster until it finally goes incredibly fasts, impossible to play this fast really. At 13:30 the beat is introduced again, in a really great section which ends the song. Awesome singing and lyrics again, which drift along. The piano playing is as usual incredible, not becuase of it being technical playing, but the sound and passion. The last sentence; ''We Better Move On'' is repeated several time and we finally get the icing on the cake: David Gilmours blistering guitar solo. It starts out with some minor playing, but soon evolves into great, bluesy guitar harmony for the last two minutes of the song. Awesome guitar playing by him here really, I think Pink Floyd fans (Like me) will enjoy it. The song slowly fades out at 16.00 before it finally stops at 16:30. A really awesome song, and you shouldn't miss it. Perhaps the darkest song and officially the longest in the entire Supertramp catalogue, so it's bound to be awesome.

6. Ever Open Door (3:06) is a pretty weak song compared to the monster that we just listened to. It opens up with Rick walking in, taking a seat by the piano, and playing the first chords lightly. The vocals are pretty great here, but the lyrics are cheesy. After this first verse, another one comes in with the same fashion as the previous one. The next section is interesting, because Rick sounds exactly like Robbie Williams, so I always crack up during this section. Listen closely. Great isn't it? Anyways the song fades out after this.

Overall a really great album with the masterful epic title track going strong. It's definitely worth checking out. However, people getting started with Supertramp should probably turn over to albums such as Breakfast In America or Crime of The Century. Anyway, thank you for reading this review!

Axel Dyberg | 4/5 |

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