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Kevin Ayers - Rainbow Takeaway CD (album) cover

RAINBOW TAKEAWAY

Kevin Ayers

Canterbury Scene


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febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
2 stars THE CHARM IS WANING!

By 1978, artists like KEVIN AYERS were definitely no longer fashionable and could count only on their fan base to buy their records or attend their concerts in -small- venues. But releasing albums like RAINBOW TAKEWAY surely wouldn't help their cause.Not that it is a bad album, it is not. It's just when you finish listening to this album, you forget quicky about it.

KEVIN AYERS has definitely renounced on everything that has prog elements, not that he was really proggy in the first place lately, but he always tried to mix some proggish ingredients here and there on some of his songs. RAINBOW TAKEWAY is just a simple songs album, more on the folk troubadour style. But most importantly, the inspiration seems to have dried up and we are now very far away removed from the magic that graced AYERS first solo albums.

There is no DAVID BEDFORD collaboration like on BLUE from YES WE HAVE MANANAS meaning there are no nice arrangements, lush string quartets or the delicate sound of a clarinet to be heard on RAINBOW TAKEWAY.If only the songs were memorable, would be OK, but i can't pinpoint one song that could feature on any best-of AYERS compilation.

Actually, what we have here is KEVIN AYERS singing like a crooner.Listening to his voice on BLAMING IT ALL ON LOVE or BEWARE OF THE DOG II remind me of good old DEAN MARTIN, no less! BALLAD OF A SALESMAN is one of these typical KA songs, starting well but running out of total inspiration inthe middle , trying to create some kind of athmosphere but failing badly.

The best two tracks are STRANGE SONG with a nice violin briging some character to this track and GOODNIGHT GOODNIGHT a song a little bit more creative than the rest. But the big downfall of RAINBOW TAKEWAY is the inclusion of the last track:THE HAT SONG!! We know AYERS always has liked a good ''odd ditty'' and that he has a great sense of humor, but with HAT SONG, he overdid it himself. HAT SONG has no place on any serious prog/rock/pop album unless you are aiming for a commercial suicide. This is plain dreadful. TAKE ME TO TAHITI or THE FAKE MEXICAN TOURIST are masterpieces compared to THE HAT SONG!!

And guess what? THE HAT SONG would be featured in one of AYERS best-of compilation later on. Unbelievable!! I have followed AYERS through his career to RAINBOW TAKEWAY enjoying the goodies, forgetting the bad, but now it was starting to get ugly and i left the ship never to listen to the next albums.

KEVIN AYERS has a new album coming out this month THE UNFAIRGROUND with ROBERT WYATT and HUGH HOPPER guesting . So far the reviews have been excellent and i will keep you updated when i get this new CD.Hopefully, some old magic came back!

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#139148)
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Prog to go

Two years after "Yes We Have No Mañanas", Kevin Ayers reconvened with the same musicians to record "Rainbow takeaway". By now, Ayers brief flirtation with stardom was fading fast, and this 1978 album is largely forgotten. Also disappearing are Ayers prog credentials, although on this album they are still to be found from time to time.

On the plus side Kevin puts the emphasis firmly on melody, and while this can result in him sound like a rich voiced crooner, it does mean that the album is pleasantly rewarding. The opening "Blaming it all on love" is a case in point, Ayers sounding somewhere between Peter Skellern and Sammy Davis Jnr(!). Likewise, the piano based "Waltz for you" is smoooooth, with a slightly Pink Floyd ("San Tropez", "Fat old sun") feel.

Elsewhere, we have the swinging brass rock style of the title track (some releases include a single version of the song too). "Beware of the dog II" is perhaps closer related to Floyd's "Seamus", and certainly has nothing in common with the original Ayers track of that name, which appeared on "Bananamour". The track here has a decidedly reggae sound, the funky rhythm and jam style instrumental leaving me cold.

"Strange song" is in fact pretty simple, the overriding influence being traditional folk music which tells a story. Graham Preskett adds some fine violin to the song.

It is tracks such as the laid back "Ballad Of A Salesman Who Sold Himself" which offer anything more substantial; the arrangement here is noticeably more adventurous. The track actually pairs up well with the following "A View From The Mountain" to form a decent 10+ minute interlude featuring some fine lead guitar. "Goodnight goodnight" tries to be different, and certainly boasts a more challenging vocal arrangement, but in the end it is essentially a light pop based song.

The album closes with the silly "Hat song", a song which would fit in well on a Stackridge album. It must have been fun to record, but the joke wears thin. The best that can be said for it is that it is kept brief.

Overall though, a pretty decent album with some highly enjoyable moments. "Rainbow takeaway" will never feature in lists of Ayers best, or indeed best known works, but it is worthy of investigation by those who enjoy his music.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#728886)
Posted Sunday, April 15, 2012 | Review Permalink

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