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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis? CD (album) cover

CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS?

Supertramp

Crossover Prog


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jaggrp@hotmai
2 stars Over the years, I have tried like heck to love this album. What sticks in my craw, and always will, is that this is an uworthy follow up to Crime of the Century. There is nothing really memorable about this record at all, except for Another Man's Woman.

Fans, by all means get this. Others be very afraid. Give it a miss unless you really have to have it.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6726)
Posted Thursday, January 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Seems like one to me, guys

Well after Crime's unexpected success, the Tramp needed to confirm this, but it is always a hard thing to follow-up a fantastic and flawless album such as CotC. Unsurprisingly they didn't succeed in their confirmation, but Crisis is hardly a failure either. It lacks Crime's urgency and is not a concept album either (despite a title and that industrial parasol artwork), the songwriting is not as incisive either, although there are some pretty good tunes on it, but drowned in a bunch of lesser tunes. If Crime had not been a concept album, only two tracks would find a spot in it, which gives you an idea of the lapse between the two albums. Don't get me wrong, it is still that excellent group that recorded this album

Opening on the short and fragile Easy Does It and its Sister Moonshine follow-up, the listener immediately knows that Crisis will be a very different listening experience and a much less inspired one and breaking the alternance of Davies-Hodgson- penned tracks. Indeed, even the Davis-penned Ain't Nobody But Me and Another Man's Woman are, while both good, nowhere close to Rudy or Asylum. Nobody hasn't got much for itself, despite one of the rockiest ending with Hodgson's guitar solo and crazy sax. Stuck between them is the album's best track, Soapbox Opera, where finally they confirm their songwriting abilities. Another Man's Woman is much in the line of Nobody, but a long finale with again Hodgson's guitar being featured. The opening side finishes better than it started, but we're a far cry from Crime's awesome ambiances

The flipside isn't any better, opening on the wanking melody of Lady (the "hi" of the album, and Poor Boy (they were probably thinking of the ones that would buy this) isn't much better either. Just A Normal Day makes it two Davies-penned track in a row, but this doesn't work much either, but the often-overlooked at The Meaning is the highlight on the flipside, with Hodgson's plaintive vocals hitting the sensible spot, while Helliwell's clarinet takes a Klezmer feel. Closing the album is an average Two Of Us track that epitomizes this album's direction-less inspiration.

A real let-down IMOHO compared to the previous one, but most fans think highly of it. I think that coming after Crime, this album had not much chance. But most numbers leave me rather cold, although still so Trampish in the attitude and mould. Soapbox, Meaning and Man's Woman are the highlights in an otherwise lackluster collection of song. Still a worthy album, but to be discovered in a second wave, behind the true masterpieces of the group.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#6728)
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Following very much in the wake of the highly successful "Crimes Of The Century", "Crisis? What Crisis?" represents a switch in methodology. Being such musical entrepreneurs, SUPERTRAMP approached the writing and recording of "Crisis?..." in a much different manner than "Crime..." refusing to get into a formula for success. Both Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies co-wrote all the songs on "Crisis?..." while they also broadened out instrumentally especially noticeable in Helliwell's clarinet and Thompson's bass who are given the space to develop themes more extensively than in the past. The songs are immediately recognizeable as SUPERTRAMP, but seem to carry a much deeper feeling than previous albums. "Crisis?..." did not receive much commercial success which is something to this day I can not understand.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#6730)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Compared to "Crime of the Century", this record has less elaborated compositions and maybe less catchy too. This record is pretty good, and they still get their unique sound here, with piano, lead singer's voice, typical keyboards, saxes, acoustic guitars and drums. "Lady has exactly the style of songs from "Breakfast in America". Maybe "Easy Does It" has less the SUPERTRAMP sound, but it is a good song all the same. I rather find most of the songs good, but I know this album is not their most popular one.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#6731)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
anroga@mail.n
5 stars I have followed closely supertramp albums since kid. i am 37 now. Itell you this is probably not only one of the best pop rock albums,but maybe the best in its kind. The ensambling is exellent, lyrics are tops. Timing on drums by c bemberg is very impressive even not to spectacular. Not only lyrics but melody and rythm are outstanding ,just listen to sister moomshine . A must. But listen carefully.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6732)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
robynrae_10@h
4 stars Crisis? is a fantastic compilation of brilliant songs, both lyrically and instrumentally. 'Sister Moonshine', 'SoapBox Opera', 'The Meaning' and 'Two of Us' particularly stand out, at least to my ears. Which of their albums is best, has most depth, is more progressive, and which has been better accpeted on a large scale, is going to remain debatable, and to me, totally irrelevent. As far as I'm conerned, one thing remains consistent on each and every one of their albums- the sound is completely unique, there is always lyrical depth, and each song, in a different way, is instrumentally brilliant. Those who struggle to find this, should stick to 'Breakfast in America' or 'Crime of the Century.'

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6734)
Posted Wednesday, June 02, 2004 | Review Permalink
big_room@yaho
5 stars Supertramp's 1975 album "Crisis? What Crisis?" has an image problem. But there is absolutely no problem with its substance. It is a consistently superb art-pop success that ranks with the band's very best work, and indeed, with the very best in the genre.

Released between 1973's widely lauded breakthrough album "Crime Of The Century" (with hits "Bloody Well Right" and "Dreamer") and 1977's stunning, delicate "Even In The Quietest Moments" (with the mega-hit "Give A Little Bit"), "Crisis?" had no major hit singles. Further, it lacks both the artistic edge of its predecessor and the encompassing, focused beauty of its successor. Despite all this, however, "Crisis?" is an absolute gem, ten excellent songs without a hint of letdown. The entire album shimmers with vitality, from the enigmatic pop of album-opener "Easy Does It" through the glorious rock strum of "Sister Moonshine," the bluesy art-rock of "Ain't Nobody But Me," the classic Supertramp keyboard pulse of "Lady," and the transcendent, cosmic pop/rock of the closing couplet "The Meaning" and "The Two Of Us."

"Crisis? What Crisis?" is instantly engaging and profoundly energizing, commanding repeated listens. And once you give it those repeated listens, it's a pretty addictive platter. For fans of '70s prog-pop and artsy classic rock, it's a nearly essential purchase, not to be overlooked.

The fine remastering on this newly released reissue makes some difference in its impact, but for most fans, it is not clear that the improved sonics merit upgrading one's original CD to this new version. There are no bonus tracks on this reissue.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6735)
Posted Thursday, July 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Crises? What Crises? is the underrated album of Supertramp's collection. Every group has one and this is theirs. Whilst it is not quite up there with Crime of the Century it is still more than excellent. The songs are mature, IMHO Rick Davie's songs better than the Roger Hodgson led tracks. I have nothing against Hodgson I just think the Davies "mark "aged better. The whole album is superbly produced and is full of gems in some cases with a more bluesy feel than it's predecessor. It reminds me a bit of Steely Dan in the 70's where the music became hard to categorise. That is why I like it so much I guess, you cannot put a label on it. Highlights aplenty but for me ' Sister Moonshine',' Soap Opera', ' Another man's woman', ' Poor Boy' and the standout ' A normal Day' are just the cream of the crop.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#6736)
Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I think that this album is not very praised or "popular" for some Supertramp`s fans. I can`t hear enough commercial songs for Radio playing in this album, with the probable exception of "Lady". But it is a very good album, with most songs sung (and maybe mostly composed) by Roger Hodgson. "Easy Does it" and "Sister Moonshine" (with acoustic guitars) sound to me like a "medley" as they are "linked" and played one after the other."Ain`t nobody but me" is a very good song sung by Rick Davies, the "heaviest" song of this album with a lead guitar. "A Soapbox`s opera" has very good choral and orchestral arrangements. "Another Man`s Woman" has a very good piano by Davies. "Lady" is a very pop song, and I think it was released as a single. "Poor Boy" is sung by Davies, with a "mouth sax" in the beginning! "Just a Normal Day" is sung by both Davies and Hodgson, with good keyboard arrangements. "The Meaning" is my favourite song from this album, with "existential" lyrics, acoustic guitars (maybe 12 string) and a very good clarinet solo by John Helliwell, plus great drums by Bob Siebenberg. "Two of Us" is another acoustic guitar song with good keyboards and an orchestral arrangement.The cover design was an idea by Rick Davies, and it is a very good cover, one of my favourites.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#6737)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
ryan_olsen@ho
4 stars The fourth album from Supertramp, released in 1975, is a pretty good one. It starts out with the short but sweet 'Easy Does It', featuring (in my opinion) Roger Hodgson's best vocals. I love the way it starts out with someone walking down the street, whistling and then Hodgson starts singing....too bad it's only 2 minutes long. Next is the country- style 'Sister Moonshine' which along with the first and final track, is the highlight of the album. Another great vocal track from Roger. However, this album is brought down by the Rick Davies tracks. 'Aint Nobody But Me' is okay, but the saxophone solo is out of place, and the song feels uneven. 'A Soap Opera' is another great song with, again, exceptional vocal delivery from Mr. Hodgson along with piano and ochestral arrangements joining towards the end. 'Another Man's Women' is out of place, but does feature a good instrumental jam to close out. Then there is the jazzy 'Lady' which is a good track, but I just don't like jazzy/pop songs. 'Poor Boy' is Davies best song on the record, and features excellent lyrics and is another jazzy song (but works much better with Davies voice). 'Just a Normal Day' is another "good" song using vocal performances from both Rick and Roger. 'The Meaning' has great lyrics and again strong vocals, but suffers from that annoying repeating "If you know what the meaning is......". The album closes with one of the top three slower songs the Tramps ever did. Roger's emotional delivery along with that simple guitar riff work awesomely. This along with the solo from John Helliwell (What instument is that?) that ends the album almost (or even does) bring a tear to your eye. Overall a pretty good album that shows the band moving in a more pop oriented direction. I just think Supertramp's albums always suffered because Rick and Roger always alternated vocals on every other track (for the most part)-which takes away from the album as a whole, because it doesn't flow as well. But anyway, I give it 3.5 stars out of 5 (which is quite good coming from myself)-great things would come for the Tramps in the future.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6738)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It seems that this album always get swamped between "Crime of the Century" and "Even in The Quietest Moments", and rarely get's mentioned. It's not really fair, "Crisis? What Crisis?" is nearly as good as those two. It may trail a bit off at the end, but the first six track all makes up for it, in a typical Supertramp vein. These six tracks are among their best ones in their discography and as with most Supertramp albums, they're well-written and performed with engagement and playfulness from the band. Sadly very underrated, it surely deserves more attention among fans! Excellent stuff, recommended to all fans! 5/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#6742)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars SUPERTRAMP Reissues Part I

I have many fond memories of SUPERTRAMP and their music. I remember it like it was yesterday when I first heard "Crime Of The Century". I was visiting my brother in Boston (at the time I was around 15 years old) and the guy next door invited me in to listen to this cool new band. He proceeded to roll up a big fat one and give the record a spin. I was amazed at how different the music sounded; I had not heard anything like it before. "Bloody Well Right" really stayed with me for a while after that virgin listen. Although I can recall fondly all the great music that would come after that, I never got into the band as I did others of that time. It is now 2002 and nearly their entire catalog is available in the remastered form. I feel more like the new audience rather than the old classic rock fan after hearing these amazing recordings with the crisp and pristine sound.

The listeners that were previously gained prior to the impact of "Crime Of The Century" became disappointed with the bands more mainstream rock direction. I personally feel it made them a better band and allowed for more diversification, thereby reaching a much larger audience. "Crisis? What Crisis?" was an earful of the prog-rock-pop combination, and a very strong statement that could have easily gained some hardliner prog heads back and bring onboard some new fans as well. "Sister Moonshine" served notice that they were not about to rebuild their foundation just to make it commercially ... well, not yet. "Even In The Quietest Moments" started to hint around that they were beginning to soften up a bit and change direction with more acoustic guitar flavorings, although it was a very strong release and good follow up to the previous release. "Fools Overture" was a masterstroke of musical genius clocking in at over 10 minutes. In fact, there were so many great songs on these four albums it is hard to keep track of them all. Some tracks would be become FM radio staples (and remain so today) and others huge hits on the AM radio side of the dial. There was enough mixture of genres in their sound for them to satisfy a large mix of admirers. The usage of piano, acoustic and electric guitars, soaring vocals, and all-around outstanding musicianship is brilliant on all four of these albums. The sound has become simply phenomenal with the remastering process.

The combination of progressive rock and pop would prevail over the course of the first three releases. When the multi-platinum (by the 90s 18 million units were sold) "Breakfast In America" was released they became a full-blown rock-pop sensation, leaving all of their progressive influences behind. The featured instrument was the keyboards, when previously the guitar and keys had an equal measure of influence on all of the other releases. Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies voices played off each other beautifully, and their harmonies were so sweet and melodic. I think that they reached their peak working together on this album.

After the huge triumph of their most successful album, the aftermath would result in creative burn out. I can see how it would be difficult to match the string of successful albums that they produced over the course of a five-year period. They were a literal musical juggernaut, but all good things must eventually come to end. These four albums stand as the most prolific and significant of the group's catalog. Each album stands on its own as classic renderings of rock, progressive rock, and pop.

SUPERTRAMP - The Supertramp Remasters - "Crime Of The Century", "Crisis? What Crisis?", "Even In The Quietest Moments", "Breakfast In America"

Rating: 5/5 (all four)

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#6741)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cytoxan4@hotm
4 stars What a great album this was. my first supertramp album. also the one i find myself listenning to the most. it has some good music. i, myself love the piano touch to songs like another mans woman and just a normal day. it has strong tracks like lady and the meaning. it also has softer touches like easy does it and two of us. so a little of everything on this album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6743)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very consistent album, not a prog masterpiece but an essential acquisition for any fans of progressive-pop and/or top-quality-seventies-rock. After a strong album, Supertramp could use all good attributes of Crime of the Century to build a typical "Supertramp" album. The use of 12-string acoustic guitar in the first two tracks and the delightful elecrtric piano and falsetto-like vocals of Hodgson immediately catch the listener. Two songs that remember Beatles and a whole generation of sixties gentle atmosphere. The guitar solo in "Sister Moonshine" rocks! Davies compositions are extremely strong, like "Another men's woman" and "Pour Boy", with that cabaret-like vocals and a very good band supporting him (the guys are really nice in these album!). I have to admit that Hodgson's songs make the basis of the album, and it's extremely interesting because Crisis, What Crisis ? has a mood and a sound pattern that differs from Crime.. and from Even... (the next album) and it's singularity is the thing that makes Crisis a great record. Too many other songs are superb stuff, like the climatic "A soapbox Opera", the catchy pop-prog tune "Lady", the complex and harmonic "The Meaning", where Hodgson simply show us all his prog feeling and, of course, the hit "Ain't Nobody but Me", a standard Supertramp song that all fans must appreciate. The album is almost absent of big hits but the track list (including the order of the songs, and not only the quality, that makes a big difference), the recording quality (especially in the remaster, that's, for me, superior than Crime...) and the band performance (fresh and exrtemely 70's sounding) are enough qualities to make this album a big rock'n roll record. Don't hesitate to buy Crisis... especially if you think that there are no hits in there. That's not the question, the album is a bridge to the Top 10 Even.. and, especially, to their commercial masterpiece Breakfest in America.

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Send comments to rguabiraba (BETA) | Report this review (#6744)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I´ve chosen Supertramp´s Crisis for my first review ´cause looking at top 500 i´ve found this at nş 497. Sounds like a pretty number and of course you are thinking "this one gonna give them five stars so it can improve on the list". In fact i give 4 stars to this record and being absolutely ignorant about how the algorythm works i fear in the next list this gonna be out of top 500.Who cares? In my opinion Supertramp has always been playing in the frontiers of the so called classic prog, al least in their first four albums. Crisis has the handicap of being the next one after "Crime of the century", but even with this handicap i think is a very enyojable album, with a fist of very good songs. That´s the key: it´s an album of SONGS; not epic pieces nor instrumental smashing solos, not an concept album not rythm changes...ok probably it´s not exactly a prog album. But you can enjoy the singular ambient of A soapbox opera, the special technique of Rick Davies at the piano outro of Another man´s woman, how pleasant work of JA Hellywell in poor boy or the melanchollic beauty of Just a normal day. They are good enough musicians and this is a good collection on songs to sing along. Probably 3,5 stars would fit, but i have a good day so 4 and direct to the 490.

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Send comments to rgmeli64 (BETA) | Report this review (#45925)
Posted Wednesday, September 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
danrotari@vid
5 stars I have always considered this to be one of the most under-rated albums in the world of progressive rock. I believe it to be a true masterpiece, even better than the Crime album. At times, there is a definite folk influence in Hodgson's songs, and at other times, a bit of a jazz influence in Davies' songs, but they all blend perfectly well together. Some of Roger Hodgson's best compositions appear on this album, "Sister Moonshine", "A Soapbox Opera", "The Meaning", and the hauntingly beautiful "Two of Us" There are no two songs on this album that sound alike. Each piece is so different from the other, demonstrating their varied styles of song-writing to the fullest. For many of us who were Supertramp fans, this album ranks highly amongst their greatest works, and for many of us, myself included, is considered to be their best.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#75281)
Posted Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the last Supertramp album that I purchased at the same time with "Breakfast In America" and "Paris" last year as previously I had only cassette version, and only one album: "Paris". In term of musical approach "Crisis? What Crisis?" is different with "Breakfast In America" as the music is a bit more prog here with this album. I might conclude that Supertramp was initially a prog band and I'm now curious to purchase the band's legendary "Crime of The Century". I would definitely have to collect Supertramp albums.

The album opener "Easy does It" (2:17) does not seem to be an easy listening tune but it projects a sense of complexity even though it's not that complex really. The matter even better with the next song "Sister Moonshine" (5:15) which proves the band's effort in composing a prog tune ven though it's probably too straight-forward, structurally. "Ain't Nobody but me" (5:12) indicates excellent composition with powerful combination of piano and vocal. There are segments that demonstrate prog approach. Vocal quality is truly excellent.

"A Soap Opera" (4:50) which I knew for the first time through the band' live concert album "Paris" is another excellent composition. It starts wonderfully with an ambient music and people chatting at the background followed with melodic combination of vocal and piano. One must be impressed with how the melody of this song is built especially as the music moves forward with keyboard background reminiscent of symphonic music. Yes, I have to admit that the vocal quality is top notch and it fits my taste.

"Another man's woman" (6:20) is another excellent song with dynamic piano work and vocal line at the beginning. The tempo is upbeat with various breaks demonstrating piano and some sound effects. I really enjoy the piano solo in the middle of the song which sometimes produces jazzy style - a bit. A song worth enjoying especially when I look at the structure that brings the music in multi moods. It's definitely a progressive approach.

"Lady" (5:24) provides another nice combination of piano and vocal at the opening. "Pour Boy" (5:08) explores piano and unique chanting style combined with woodwind work. "Just a Normal Day" (3:59) is a nice mellow track with dark mood. The power of this song lies in its melody and excellent lyrics. This is one of my favorite tracks. I love it, especially the melody during singing style with bluesy rhythm section enriched with string section at the back. It's really an excellent track and it has excellent woodwind (clarinet) solo. "The Meaning" (5:21) is another good track with accentuated vocal line. "Two of Us" (3:29) concludes the album in ballad style with nice melody.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Supertramp offers powerful songwriting and musical concepts combined with excellent musicianship and tight composition. I can see the influence (or similarity?) in nuance with those music by Alan Parsons Project - in some segments. Who influence who, actually? Well, I don't know. But for sure Supertramp has influenced a band from Sweden named as A.C.T. - another great band. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

As a matter of Notes: By the time I'm listening to this album, my country is having a severe earthquake at 5.9 Richter's Scale where all buildings are collapsed in Yogya and Bantul (Center Java), killing approx 3,000 people. "Just A Normal Day" by Supertramp suits the situation my brothers in Yogya are facing, currently. The album title also fits the situation: "Crisis? What Crisis?" - Rest in Peace for those who die.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#79607)
Posted Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This record was a massive hit for Supertramp around the world, but most especially in the USA. It seems that the M.O.R. Music it contains suited the American market very well. This record doesnt flow together like crime of the century but remains a collection of very different songs. CoC works very well because the songs form a whole, without a concept holding these numbers together we are left with rather mediocre song writing played extremely well. In that respect they are very like 10cc. Of course it has its moments "Sister Moonshine", and "Two of Us" are good songs but by the end of side two I am ready to listen to something (almost anything ) else. Supertramp are ultimately a boring band with very little in the way of spark or excitement. Sure they composed some half decent singles and they are excellent musicians but it never really worked for me and like many Britains I stop buying Supertramp records after this one. I suppose I'm glad that the Americans liked them and that they made lots of money but I am left asking excitement what excitement ?

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Send comments to burgersoft777 (BETA) | Report this review (#99886)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Stuck between the more explicitely impressive "Crime" and "Even" albums, "Crisis? What Crisis?" tends to be a bit overlooked by many prog reviewers, but I don't agree with it. I acutally regarded it as Supertramp's secons best and most consistent album in their entire career, although it is plain to see why it is overshadowed by its predecessor. It is obvious that the "Crisis" material is not as refined in terms of arrangements and sound as the "Even" material, but from a compositional point of view it is almost as solid as the "Crime" material. It is healthy that Hodgson brings back the most optimistic side of his introspective essence in order to create a more dynamic contrast to the usual sense of bitterness and irony that one can expect from the Davies-penned numbers. It is also a positive thing that Hodgson decided to return to the good use of his acoustic guitar, so the melodic element in his compositions can bring an oasis of bucolic lyricism side to side with the album's rockier pieces. The album kicks off with 'Easy Does It'/'Sister Moonshine', two acoustic guitar-based songs written by Hodgson. The former is an intro whose serene mood may remind us of any of the best ballads in McCartney's or Harrison's solo albums in the early 70s, while the latter offers a more extroverted expansion, complete with a tight rhythm section and effective solos by Helliwell on flageolet and sax. Davies' harmonica also brings some extra colors that help to enhance the bucolic mood, only borken momentarily by the lead guitar solo: arguably the best electric guitar solo in a Supertramp song. 'Ain't Nobody but Me' is an explosive mid- tempo rocker built in a robust bluesy atmosphere. The sense of energy displayed in this track finds an appropriate counterpart in the following piece, th majestic 'A Soapbox Opera'. For this one, Hodgson plays piano and sings the lead vocals, while the organ and the string synthesizer create elegant orchestrations. The solemn beuaty of the main motif is efficiently adorned by the interlude's chorale and the closing climax: this climax feels quite brief, yet it is effective, indeed. 'Another Man's Woman' is another Davies-penned rocker, in which he has the chance to show his peculiar style and skill on grand piano, tightly accompanied by Siebenberg and Thompson and cleverly complemented by Hodgson's guitar riffs and Helliwell's multi-tracked saxes. 'Lady' opens up the album's second half bearing similar tempo and mood as 'Dreamer'. This song is not as charismatic, but it sure brings a breath of fresh air before the ironic bitterness of 'Poor Boy', Davies' tribute to the old days of ancient jazz. 'Just a Normal Day' is a power ballad that portrays the duality between lonely desolation and the need to enjoy the good thing in life, not unlike 'Rudy from "Crime". It is not as majestic as 'Rudy', but it is very moving: an underrated Davies' song that should be more appreciated. With 'The Meaning' and 'Two of Us', Hodgson resumes the leading role from behind the strings of his acoustic guitar. The former is an uplifting hymn against the common vices of modern life and for a recovery of our truest self: it includes some of the most magnificent Helliwell's sax solos ever. The latter is a ballad of search for peace and love, in which the acoustic guitar and lead voice find a perfect background in the harmonium and organ layers. A ver ygood ending for an excellent Supertramp item.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#106366)
Posted Sunday, January 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars As I mentioned in my review for "Crime ...", I purchased Crisis What Crisis? during a school trip to London in 76. It was a complete discovery (and what a good one !). I had seen them previously only once on the Belgian television mythical programme : PopShop (well known by the internauts) with their famous umbrellas.

"Second Offence" was considered as a possible album title by the band but ultimately rejected because it sounded so weak in comparison to "Crime's" title.

Rick Davies thought of "Crisis? What Crisis" as an album title simply because he ... couldn't think of a title! He recalls being devoid of ideas and therefore scribbling this phrase in one of his sketch books. Someone saw it and suggested it for the album title. The phrase is a common one in English. For example it was used in the UK in the 70s during the so-called "winter of discontent" when the economy was in crisis and manufacturers put employees on three day weeks to avoid closure. The cover design depicting an industrial waste land is a montage of about twelve different photos.

This album starts with "Easy does It" which is not really the kind of opener you should expect. Very quiet, mellow and short. Not the best song to start an album, I must say.

"Sister Moonshine" is fortunately a good follow-up : quite poppy but with beautiful arrangements. This is really the opener of the album. Good rythm but a bit too candid a song. The album has not really started yet. The great "Ain't Nobody But Me" is a typical Davies song : great piano, a bit jazzy. Maybe a bit "too middle of the road" but still a good track. The "Crime" sound is seriously repeated here. It is hard at times, but then some incredibly melodious chorus come and shake us. It is not a complex song : straitforward nice tune.

The interchange Davies / Hodgson goes on as if there were competing against each other. "A Soapbox Opera" is a wonderful song. It is full of melody, tenderness, melancholy. Maybe ... one of their sweetest song ever. It is, as the title reveals, almost an opera. It could have lasted for fifteen minutes though. So beautiful is this track. One of my all time fave from the Tramp. No less. No more. An awful lot of emotion emerges from this song. It almost sound as an "El Dorado" song (from ELO) which in terms of melody is IMO one of the standard in the industry. A GREAT moment.

Like Lenon and Mc Cartney, the one who writes the song is the singer. So, back to Davies for another great track. "Another Man's Woman" (of which the working title was ""Cheatin' Man". It is more complex than the average Supertramp production, it is a quite damned good song : piano is very dominating and the instrumental finale is just another fabulous moment of rock music and might justify why Supertramp might be categorized as prog band. Some other (very few though) titles from their repertoire might also range into the category. Vocals are superb, piano is great. The band is rocking alright at times. Do we need something more ?

B-side opens with Hodgson's "Lady" which is my fave here. Some "School" feelings ... Wonderful vocals as well as keyboard play (a la "Dreamer"). Magnificent piece of music.

To follow the logic, the next track shoud be a Davies one, but it is one of weakest of Crisis : "Poor Boy" is just an average song (almost ... poor). Only too brief good moments. The instrumental breaks, although sincerely jazzy, are not too bad.

Back to Roger for "Just a Normal Day" but not a normal song. It is pure melody (on par with the best Beatles or ELO ones). What a shivering tune !

"The Meaning" is the weakest Hodgson song of the album : poppy and not really inspired. I consider it as a transtion track for the wonderful closing number "Two of Us" : another superb melody. Some might find it a bit too quiet but it is a good way to close this beautiful album. Very few mistakes on this effort (maybe two). Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#110974)
Posted Wednesday, February 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Summer of content

Supertramp were always going to have a mighty challenge on their hands to follow up the excellent "Crime of the century". With "Crisis.." they head in a mellower direction, which means that when compared to its illustrious predecessor, this album sounds somewhat weak. To record the album, the band relocated to Los Angeles in the summer of 1975, hence the beach scene photo of the band on the back cover. The title was taken from a line in the film "The day of the jackal" but is more famously remembered in the UK through the 1979 "Winter of discontent". The Sun newspaper's front page headline reflected the apparent complacency of Jim Callaghan, the then Prime Minister, to the situation (the paper probably borrowing from the Supertramp album title). The title also reflected the band's growing desperation for a title for the album!

Although all the songs here are credited to the song writing partnership of Hodgson and Davies, the two never actually wrote together after the first Supertramp album. That is not to say there were not joint compositions, many songs were, but it was often a case of combining the verses of one writer, with the choruses of the other. The actually song writing credit can usually be identified by who is singing. In the case of "Crisis..", Roger dominates the vocals, Rick singing lead on just three tracks plus sharing lead with Roger on "Just a normal day".

The first three songs are pretty standard Supertramp fare, "Sister Moonshine" possibly having singles potential. The later "Poor boy" also falls into this category. It is when we get to "A soapbox opera" that we find a real Supertramp classic. The song, which has a passing similarity to "Hide in your shell" features orchestra and choir in a delightfully melodic, progressively structured piece of excellence. This song alone makes the album an essential listen.

"Another man's woman" also has a more complex structure and arrangement, varying from a funky pop chorus to slower big sounding verses. The overall pop sound belies the progressive nature of the song. "Lady" will be the best known song on the album, and the only one which was a major hit single from it. The song, which is clearly from the Roger Hodgson songbook, is in the "Dreamer" mould with staccato piano and fine vocal harmonies.

"Just another normal day" is an unusual duet between Davies and Hodgson, with conversational lyrics. When Davies sings "Well I just feel that every minute's wasted, my life is unreal and anyway I guess I'm just not rated ..., that's how I feel" to which Hodgson responds " Well I just don't know the reason, I don't know what to say. It just seems a normal day and I've got to live my own life. I just can't spare the time, but you've got strange things on your mind." one wonders whether this is mere fantasy, or if the cracks which would lead to Roger's departure are beginning to show. The song has a melancholy, bluesy flavour with further orchestration and some inspired sax. It has to rate as one of the band's most unjustly overlooked pieces.

"The meaning" features a striking Hodgson vocal the upbeat melody and synthesiser backing sounds combining in a song to put a smile on your face. The album closes with "Two of us", another Roger song. This time we have a soft, reflective, acoustic song with effective organ backing. It makes for a superb ending.

"Crisis what crisis" is an unfairly under appreciated album. Admittedly, it lacks the consistency of "Crime of the century", some of the tracks here being a bit by the numbers. It does however feature some truly inspired moments, which alone make this an album to savour.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#133935)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I think a real "crime" was committed in the music-buying world when Supertramp's incredible "Crime of the Century" album didn't become the huge hit that it deserved to be. I'm sure the guys in the band felt the same way because they had put their heart and their soul into it, stood back and admired the high quality of their finished artwork and then watched it peak out at #38 on the charts and fail to produce a smash hit single. There's never a definitive reason for these things but they had to be asking themselves "what in the hell does the public want?" Scarcely a year later they found themselves on the other side of the world, sequestered in the A&M studios in bewildering Los Angeles, trying to follow it up but I get the feeling that a lot of the creative wind had been knocked out of their sails over "Crime's" fate and the songs on "Crisis? What Crisis?" reflect a modicum of disillusionment.

Fading in with what sounds like someone strolling down the street whistling, the band sets the mood by slipping into "Easy Does It," a laid-back song if there ever was one. The casual, not-a-care-in-the-world aura of the music belies the pressure-to-produce- marketable-product stress they were undoubtedly living with behind the scenes. "And if we had the time/and time's so hard to find/I can't believe what you say/start sending those shadows away," Roger Hodgson sings. Next comes the best track on the album, "Sister Moonshine." Sound-wise I consider it a precursor to the chart-topping "Give a Little Bit" from the LP that was to follow. The song features big, broad strums on the acoustic 12-string guitar and a lively, catchy pop melody that lodges in your brain. At the same time the claustrophobia that results from day after day of isolation inside a recording studio far away from home rises up through the words as Roger sings "Oh, I wish I'd been a gypsy/then maybe I could read the crystal ball/'cause surrounded by these walls/just makes me feel uneasy."

"Ain't Nobody but Me" is a welcome shift of gears as it has a bit of a bite to it, something that this album has little of. Reed man John Helliwell creates a layered horn section that's pretty fat and the 50's doo-wop feel of the chorus distinguishes the cut from the others. Roger's expressive guitar work at the end has a distinctive Robin Trower growl to it, as well. But impeccable production, mix-down and engineering techniques can only take a group so far and on "A Soapbox Opera" one senses that the tune just isn't strong enough to meet the demands they put on it. Starting with what sounds like a heated argument drifting in from the next room, the overly-subdued atmosphere they establish never allows the song to rise up from the floor level. "Mary, oh tell me what I'm living for/'cause I feel like I'm tossed in the river," Hodgson laments. The lush orchestration and chorale are a nice addition but they eventually flounder in this mediocre composition.

Unfortunately the uninspiring verses and busy choruses of "Another Man's Woman" aren't much of an improvement. I know they were doing their level best but it just sounds forced to me. When the piano break comes along after Richard Davies finishes singing things change for the better, though. The band energetically jumps back in, Roger spices it up with an engaging guitar effect and Helliwell multi-tracks another full horn section to save the cut from the reject file. Fortunately they're able to maintain that momentum as their signature Wurlitzer electric piano's pounding rhythm and funky tone opens the entertaining "Lady." This number has some drive and dynamics to go with the California-style "Ooo-la-la's" that give it personality. They toss in a nice touch on the end when they drop everything out except a cappella vocals and finger snaps.

I'm not sure where Davies' usually tasteful mind was at when he opted to amateurishly imitate a muted trumpet on the front and back of "Poor Boy" but it's neither cute nor clever. The tune lumbers along in a lazy, carefree shuffling groove but there's not much to praise here except for John's elegant clarinet solo. The slow, bluesy "Just a Normal Day" follows but what's needed at this juncture is some pizzazz, not another melancholy downer. The sax and strings are decent but words like "Well, I just feel that every minute's wasted/my life is unreal/and anyway I guess I'm just not rated/at least that's how I feel" are just too self- pitiful. Come on, boys, cheer up! (Someone should have informed them that there were literally thousands of struggling groups outside the studio door that would have LOVED to have been in their shoes.)

Finally you get signs of life and some emotional vocalizing on "The Meaning." Here it seems that Hodgson is referencing his disappointment over "Crime" as he sings "Has the record been holding your heart?/it's beginning to squeeze you apart" with considerable angst. He pleads repeatedly for meaning and answers but there aren't any forthcoming. Helliwell's soprano sax lends much-needed spirit to the proceedings, as well. The band wraps it all up with the excellent love song "Two of Us" that has a dreamy organ fade-in before the acoustic 12-string takes over and Roger warbles "Every time that I'm feeling down/oh, they pick me up and they spin me around/tell me where do we go/tell me where do we go from here?" Lucky for us they found their direction again on the next album.

It's understandable that Supertramp was going through a frustrating, lesson-learning phase when they put this project together and, considering that they'd been touring right up to the first day of recording, these compositions were most likely the cream of what they had penned at the time. It just goes to show that you can have all the talent and state-of-the-art technology in the world surrounding you but in the final analysis you're still only as good as the songs you perform. Supertramp was more often than not a great group but, in the case of "Crisis? What Crisis?," they were just barely average. 2.4 stars.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#140996)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Supertramp's most underrated album.

This album is full of wonderful melodies and arrangements. Supertramp are not a classic 'prog' group but there are progressive elements in their music. 'Crisis?' is a wonderful musical journey incorporating many styles but the songs all have a unified relaxed feeling.

It always frustrated me that the songwriters of the group (Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson) seemed to dismiss this album as something that had to be produced to follow up the massive success of 'Crime of the Century' and they were not happy with the result. Yes, there is not the same intensity as that album, but that is this album's strength.

As a previous reviewer has said, some of Roger Hodgson's best songs are here - 'Easy Does It', 'Sister Moonshine', 'Lady', 'A Soapbox Opera', 'The Meaning' and ' Two of Us'. Recently, Roger has been performing the first two at his solo gigs, so he may be realising that they are much better than he thought.

Rick's contributions are no weaker, possibly with the exception of 'Ain't Nobody But Me' (always played at concerts!).

I give it 4 stars only because it is not a classically progressive album but it is an essential addition to any musical collection.

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Send comments to rvro (BETA) | Report this review (#149110)
Posted Monday, November 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Somehow this ended up being my only Supertramp album. The only other one I may well acquire is the superior "Crime of the Century". But even there, the seeds of some of pop music's most irritating songs ever were already being sown, notably in "Dreamer", but many more would follow. "Crisis What Crisis" manages to avoid any outright violations, but also does not really contain a great song, just a few good ones and just as many duds.

One of Supertramp's modes of operating was to take a pleasant hook and run through 2 or 3 minutes of pretty catchy appealing music before deciding to perform a scat version of the song for the final 2 or 3 minutes, or at least drag it out immeasurably. "Sister Moonshine", a pretty decent tune, treads dangerously close to this territory, but "Lady" positively wallows in it. If you want to hear this approach done right, try some of the early works of British folk rock pioneers Lindisfarne. Another characteristic was the whiny vocals that desperately, almost excruciatingly, tried to sound earnest, but instead came across as very wimpily limpid, like the guy who might get sand kicked in his face at the beach, maybe like any of the guys in the beach photo on the back of the LP, that I just noticed after I thought of this analogy. "Soapbox Opera" is the poster boy for this style, and its juxtaposition of "sinner" with "winner" is lame even by Supertramp standards. "The Meaning" is insistently unlistenable, while "Poor Boy" and "Just a Normal Day" are both faceless ballads.

Even when they try to sound rough n ready, as in "Aint Nobody But Me", it sounds more like bravado after the fact, and the lyrics are even more feeble. Nonetheless "Another Man's Woman", which is lyrically and musically spry and avoids pretty much all the weaknesses prevalent elsewhere, features a great fade out ending that rivals that of the title track to "Crime". While "Easy Does It" and the closer "Two of Us" are not exactly free from problems, at least their melodies are strong enough to carry them through.

Crisis What Crisis is almost a forgotten Supertramp album in that it lacks the bite of Crime and the mass appeal of what followed it, but it is an identity crisis album that reveals clues to their transition from a pretty decent if precious rock band to a commercial pop group with a huge overbite.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#154922)
Posted Sunday, December 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Easy does it...

It's hardly surprising that the follow-up to a massively huge album like Crime Of The Century is not going to be as mind-blowing as it's brother. However, what is unexpected is such a huge shift in style between the two albums. Supertramp has always had two sides: the dark an progressive and the light and pop-ish. A change in style is never a bad thing, but capitalizing on something that is not what made you popular is always a strange thing to do. This album is best seen as a precursor to their later, more radio friendly work (not to say that previous albums weren't radio friendly) - but one that is not quite developed yet.

Story has it that the title emerged from the band's need to follow up on Crime Of The Century, ''Crisis? What crisis?'' they replied. A very different offering from the boys as we knew them up to this point, this album is best described as jumpy. Basically, if you take an upbeat (though mysteriously dark) song from them such as Dreamer and extend it into an entire album you get what we have here. While there are still some very progressive offerings wrought with excellent instrumentation and rising sax along with quick pianos this one, for the most part, is simply a pleasant listen, not a demanding one as their other albums have been.

There are points where the band decide to let loose on the sing-along parts. Case in point the two singles Lady, with it's somewhat annoying ''ooh-la-la-la-la'' even though the beat and pace of the rest of the song more than makes up for its shortcomings, and Sister Moonshine where Roger strains his voice as though to taunt the audience to try and follow him until their voice cracks. There's nothing wrong with these, as Tramp has always excelled at the catchy end of things, and the songs are quite enjoyable for those who like their Tramp poppy.

A couple of high points are to be found on the album as well. The almost aggressive Another Man's Woman with its excellent instrumental ending is more or less what we've come to expect of the band. Davies takes the vocal helm to give it a hard blues feel with the typical Supertramp bop. A Soapbox Opera is another standout, its suspenseful pace leading into a wonderful peak. The two short opening and closing tracks are also worth mentioning, their slow and steady pace along with the delicate melodies make for a nice bookend.

Coming into the end the album lets out a bit. Poor Boy is unfortunately forgettable with a pace that promises something to happen, but never delivers. Just A Normal Day is more or less just a normal track, Davies and Hodgeson trade segments to make for a fairly peaceful and pleasant track. Floaty and airy this is a good one. Fortunately The Meaning is a promising track that opens with some powerful vocals and an excellent bridge whose only draw the the repetition of Hodgeson's line ''Do you know what the meaning is?''. The last minute or so of the song is actually almost ruined by that, actually. Forgivable, however, because there's enough high points for it to come off as very strong track.

This album is definitely good, and quite enjoyable. Those who don't like their Tramp poppy had best be warned, and those who don't like Tramp anyways likely won't be swayed. Nothing completely groundbreaking here, but it is pleasant music which is best enjoyed on a sunny day. 3 stars! Good, but there's other Tramp that has higher priority than this one.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#170502)
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Middle-of-the-road rock music with very few endearing features, this album was a dreadful let-down after the good work of 'Crime of the Century'. Rather than letting loose with more elaborate songs, the band rein in their nascent progressive tendencies and become the purveyor of ballads and blues-based numbers. Eschewing the complexity they pursued, and occasionally reached, on their previous album, they replace it here with the sound of mid-70s keyboard-based rock: orchestral window dressing, piano parts galore, exquisite production, the odd white-funk jam and a distressing seriousness not befitting a clever, knowing, tongue-in-cheek art-rock band.

The resulting product is neither complex enough for the prog fan nor catchy enough for the radio. It's so pointedly aimed at the US market the lads might as well have shifted to Los Angeles to record it. Oh, that's right, they did. 'Lady' is quite nice as far as singles go - at least we get the Wurlitzer - though after about a minute I've had enough. 'A Soapbox Opera' is so schmaltzy I have to suppress the gag reflex. Disastrously, the last four tracks of the album are the worst. 'Poor Boy'? A sax solo straight from Easy Street? Oh please. The plaintive 'Just a Normal Day' beggars belief. Poor fare indeed. 'Sister Moonshine' is the only track worth a second listen. Give me THE ELTON JOHN BAND's contemporaneous keyboard-based work any day. Barely two stars for an album rightly ignored in the SUPERTRAMP catalogue.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#182132)
Posted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Boy, what a let down after the greatness of Crime Of The Century! I was so disappointed when I heard it at the time that Crisis... is the only 70´s Supertramp LP I never owned. It is not bad, really, and I believe that Crime is a hard act to follow, but... I had hopes they could at least keep some of the quality, specially on the songwriting department. And, sadly, the songs are the weakest parts. Nothing that really reminds their previous work.

It seems that the band was just treading water while trying to find some better ideas for a future release (what would eventually happened). Seeing that way, it is not really surprising that everything here sound half hearted and tentative. Of course the band is in great shape and they do deliver some fine arrangements that give some life to the songs. Sister Moonshine, Soapbox Opera and Lady are the best tracks, but even them sound like leftovers from their other CDs.

I tried very hard to like this album, but it is hopeless. I can only recommended it to the faithful, hardcore fans and collectors. This is not a good starting point to the newbie, of course. Cirsis? What Crisis? is Supertramp´s weakest CD done while Roger Hodgson was on board. Fortunatly they´d make better albums soon after this one. Get Crisis.. only after hearing all others. Two stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#184282)
Posted Wednesday, October 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars WOW, what a great album, I can't believe it has only 61 reviews? Any fan of Supertramp must have this album, quintessential Supertramp sound, great songs, maybe not any hits, but like that matters to any of us anyway. Now, anyone new to Supertramp should probably look into their previous album, Crime of the Century first. Why? because Supertramps sound is very unique and Crime is a bit easier to like at first listen and it's a five star album and great piece of progressive rock anyhow. If you haven't heard Supertramp, you may not get into this album as much, especially at first listen and I don't want to turn you off to this great band.

Highlights: Sister Moonshine - great song, absolutely love the acoustic guitar, love it on any Supertramp album. It's different, but the intro here reminds me of the intro on Give A Little Bit, which I love as well. Soap Box Opera and The Meaning are also great. Every song is good though, a very consistent album.

I'm reading "total let down" referring to the aforementioned masterpiece released before Crisis. I mean, that may be so, not a TOTAL letdown, maybe a bit, but I wasn't around yet back then and I didn't listen to their albums in order released so my view is different.

4 stars, great album for any collecction, must have for Supertramp fans.

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Send comments to Kix (BETA) | Report this review (#238175)
Posted Tuesday, September 08, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars What Crisis?

(This review will be made by making contrasts with the following album, Even in the Quietest Moments, which ''shares'' a lot of similarities with this one. It would be like making two reviews in one, yeah I know, very pretentious)

Crisis? What Crisis? is not a improvement over Crime of the Century but neither it is a attempt of making a similar record to it like some bands would do: Crisis? What Crisis? is a fresh album, however Even in the Quietest Moments will do what Crisis? What Crisis? didn't do, it'll take ideas from it's previous album, in this case Crisis? What Crisis?, and craft them somehow in a different manner.

Some examples would be the duet of Easy Does It/Sister Moonshine, a marvellous up-lifting acoustic opening to this album with lot to deliver, in which on Even in the Quietest Moments you can listen to a very similar acoustic tune, the single from the album, Give a Little Bit, it's catchier and well, it's poppier. From this you notice that Even in the Quietest Moments is tend to head more to the friendly side of things, even if it's not a pop album as a whole, you'll find most of the ideas taken from this album transformed into somewhat poppier. By the way the first line from Roger on Give a Little Bit is ''Here we go again'', that can be funnily understood if they had done already, in this case it would be Sister Moonshine. Quite obviously, I prefer the non-pop one to the pop one, it's by far more interesting.

Then, the dramatic acoustic song called The Meaning which slowly develops into a very strong song, can easily be compared to the grandiose title track from Even in the Quietest Moments which also evolves in the same way just that the latter is up-lifting. Also the line from The Meaning ''If you know what the meaning is'' can easily be replaced by ''Come on, let the sun fade and go'' and you'll find the same melody. In this case I tend to prefer the one from Even in the Quietest Moments, however the one featured here is highly original and well-worth a listen from Supertramp fans.

Poor Boy's sentimental and gentle mood can easily be compared to that from Lover Boy, heck both even have the word 'boy' ! However always expect a change, Lover Boy being the up-lifting version of it. In this case I also prefer the latter version, since it seems a bit more elaborated with the piano and all, while Poor Boy is far from being a bad song it just holds up much my interest.

The rest of the songs from both albums could be compared but it would be making quite a bit of a stretch. This means that the rest of the material from Even in the Quietest Moments is almost 100% original, and well the rest featured in here are pretty much in the standards of the already mentioned, highlights not mentioned from here would be A Soapbox Opera with it's pretty elaborated string arrangements within just 5 minutes(!!) and Ain't Nobody but Me with it's dare-attitude ruling all over with electric guitars and organs, even if the sweet melodic vocals are still there.

The stand-outs not mentioned from Even in the Quietest Moments is obviously the 10 minute mini-epic, Fool's Overture, with it's great structure changing from peaceful though dramatic piano interludes to emotive keyboard chords, as well as very epic-ish melodies like those from the saxophone and piano, definitely one of Supertramp's grandiose moments in the Prog world. The other stand-out from this one is From Now On, a Rick Davies original, a simple piano is what stands, however it has a very effective development with one of John Helliwell's most lovely sax solos and even a choir singing the last lines, a very emotive song.

All in all, both good albums by Supertramp, however undoubtely Even in the Quietest Moments is the better one despite it's lack of fresh ideas in which the case with Crisis? What Crisis? it's the contrary, Even in the Quietest Moments is very well more refined and delivered, and even more memorable as a whole. Still, Crisis? What Crisis? stands as one of Supertramp's freshest releases, with some nice stand-outs, but as a whole it doesn't stand alongside it's predecessor or following one.

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Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#239116)
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars Prog? What Prog?

Well you know where this is going. Supertramp's 'Crisis? What Crisis?' does not come close to prog but it is once again a solid rocking album. If you want to hear the best Supertramp look elsewhere because this album is a true soda pop fizzer. The best of Supertramp is located on stalwart legendary classics 'Crime of the Century' featuring 'Dreamer', and 'Breakfast in America', featuring the smash hit single 'The Logical Song' (my absolute favourite). Right from the outset I can admit I am not a fan of this band and do not consider them to be the prog legends others may. However, I can relent and tell you that they have amazing skills in musicianship and a very strong melodic style. This is soft poppy AOR rock at its best, but I was never into this style and only on occasions can I admit to liking this band. So there is a certain bias in these Supertramp reviews but I think it makes a huge change to all the gushing fanboy reviews here that proclaim the band can do no wrong.

So as for the highlights, they are few, though I like that driving rock beat on 'Another Mans Woman' and the single 'Lady' is fine, though has corny harmonies with sweet lalalala's that make me cringe. It is crass radio friendly pop music, but it is easy to sing to as far as middle of the road chorus driven songs go. Perhaps I could re-listen to this while vacuuming the house. Hopefully the sound would drown out those cheesy poppy harmonies.These commercial radio songs are the type I steer clear from ergo the love of prog, so to hear this album is a kind of torture at times. The abysmal 'Poor Boy' is a case in point.

Still, it has its moments so I can't quite give this the 1 star bomb rating, but don't expect a masterpiece here because it is far from that.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#278656)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Still classic Supertramp album, released between two their best ever albums - "Crime Of The Century" and "Even In The Quietest Moments". I believe it wasn't easy to release equally strong album after the "Crime...".

So - the result is not bad, but just too soft (even for Supertramp), too unfocused, but still with few great songs and very Supertrampish atmosphere. I believe we all love best Supertramp songs not because they are great experimentalists or complex-proggy musicians. They know how to play great songs somewhere in between of soft-rock and art-pop, with very "their" vocals, arrangements and atmosphere.

And all these ingredients you will find on "Crisis.." . Possibly - not is such concentrated form as on band's best albums, but from very first sounds you will recognize - it's Supertramp.

Not their best release, but really better than few early and few late albums. Average "classic" Supertramp album, not the best place to start for newcomers, but good enough release for band's fans.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#293471)
Posted Thursday, August 05, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I was aware of this album back in the day, in fact I remember seeing this album cover many times in record shops; but I never bought it or even heard it until recently. The first SUPERTRAMP LP I bought was "Even In The Quietest Moments" then I bought "Crime Of The Century" in 1979. Those two along with this album have great cover art don't they ? Unfortunately this album doesn't share the same good, quality music as the other two. I'm not sure if my opinion would be different if I owned this back in the seventies, but it's hard to believe i'd feel any differently about it than I do now. As with "Crime Of the Century" Rick and Roger sing only the songs they themselves composed, and they get equal playing time too. Odd numbered songs are Ricks', even numbered ones are Rogers'. There seems to be a lot less sax on this one too.

"Easy Does It" opens with a sample of someone walking and whistling. Mellow music takes over before a minute. "Sister Moonshine" is a top three for me. Strummed guitar with vocals and drums lead the way. Sax before 3 minutes. "Ain't Nobody But Me" is a more passionate track but I can't get into it. "A Soapbox Opera" opens with samples and synths. Vocals and piano take over then a beat. Some strings in this one too.

"Another Man's Woman" is a top three. Piano and vocals as drums join in. I really like the piano on this one. It sounds great when the song kicks in at 4 1/2 minutes. A definite highlight. "Lady" is my other top three although I don't like the way it ends. "Poor Boy" is a song I can't get into. "Just A Normal Day" is mellow with piano, vocals and a beat. Strings too and sax before 3 minutes. "The Meaning" has a cool intro as the vocals join in. I like the sax after 2 1/2 minutes. Great sound 4 minutes in. "Two Of Us" features organ, vocals and strummed guitar. It's very laid back.

Barely 3 stars, in fact I think i'm being generous by giving it 3 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#294254)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Concept? What Concept?

Well, other than the absence of said attribute, and a couple of weak songs, this album is pretty similar in style and execution to its holy predeccesor, Crime of the Century. Hit single - check. Wurlitzer - check. Cheap pun on cover artwork - check!

The flow is surprisingly good here, despite the songs containing very different subject matter, and in my opinion Rick Davies' piano playing has improved a lot (or at least, this is the first album where he shows off a bit). In fact, he thinks he's Billy Joel during most of this album, while Hodgson goes for a more Donavon-esque approach, contributing some acoustic material that in later albums will grow increasingly spiritual. The pop is there too though, of course, and single 'Lady' is a respectably fun follow-up to 'Dreamer'. Meanwhile in Davies' camp, 'Ain't Nobody But Me' becomes, you guessed it, a respectably fun follow-up to 'Bloody Well Right'....... The most interesting aspect of this record though, is the "quality curve".

The real gems of the album are wedged right in the middle, while the weakest songs seem to be the opening and closing tracks. The above mentioned 'Lady' has a great pop feel to it that I simply cannot resist. And the song that ends the first side, 'Another Man's Woman' is very catchy and probably my favourite song on the album, thanks to its extended blues piano jamming! (see, Billy Joel...). However, 'Easy Does It', while conceptually nice, is a bit on the short side and the only worthwhile moment is its quirky sitar solo. Things remain a bit dull with the mediocre 'Sister Moonshine', so it isn't until track 3 that things pick up. At the other end, 'The Meaning' contains some good chords but has an annoyingly repetitive chorus and really cheesy vocoder. 'Two of Us' is just an awful mini-ballad, complete with "school-play" style clarinet solo; urgh, a dissapointing end to the album.

So, a mixed bag here, in a strange structure that I can only compare to Pink Floyd's 'Ummagumma'; pyramid-shaped quality! But the good stuff is really good, and the poor stuff can be ignored, thanks to this not being a concept album. Perhaps removing some of the pseudo-filler would have improved this album's luke warm reception, as it is quite long anyway.

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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#307885)
Posted Monday, November 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars For a few months in 1976 this was my favorite album on Earth. Many of its songs remain favorites of mine--"The Meaning" in particular is still one of my favorite songs of all-time. "Easy Does It," "Sister Moonshine," "Lady", "Just a Normal Day," and "Two of Us" are all excellent songs though no longer on frequent rotation among my playlists. This is the album that made me fall in love with the 12-string guitar (one of the few instruments I've owned that I still have--though actually it's in one of my daughter's possessions). Also, the dual vocal stylings of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson are really worked well here--not separately as they become on the few Supertramp albums that follow. I've read that the group was under a lot of pressure to create a follow up to Crime of the Century. Well, I think, considering the pressure, they did an admirable job. Perhaps relative to Crime and the following Even in the Quietest Moments this is only deserving of a three stars "good" rating, but to me it's at least 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#330985)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis? (1975)

Ok, let me be honest. I don't like cheesy pop-prog at all, I don't like glamour (except when played by Kiss live) and I don't like 'beautiful' vocals. Therefore most crossover-prog isn't that attractive for me. Supertramp is however a high rated band and the vinyls are relatively easy to find so I find myself trying to listen to one of their album from time to time.

On this album Supertramp combines pop with energetic artrock with nice use of the rock instruments. The vocals are very cheesy, but at times attractive. A more serious approach on the vocals would have done the music some good.

What I never understood is that Breakfast in America and Crime of the Century are high-rated, whilst this album is amongst the lower rated Supertramp albums. From the first notes on to the end I find this album to very inspired with great song-writing. Something I couldn't say of the other two albums mentioned. They bore me to death.

Most of the songs on this album have great catchy melodies and slightly progressive composition. The energetic and adventerious moments get me excites, whilst the moments like The Two of Us get me into an emotional state. My favorites are The Meaning, Another man's woman, Sister Moonshine and Soapbox Opera.

Conclusion. Well, perhaps not that important for a progressive rock collection, but three stars is the least I can give for this energetic art-rock album. My favorite of the band's discography. Recommended if you like art-rock, crossover-prog or melodic rock in general. Avoid if you really dislike cheesyness and pop-influences.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#337013)
Posted Sunday, November 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Second work of Supertramp´s most stable line up; and in my humble opinion, it only loses in quality for Crime Of The Century and The Early Years.

After releasing Crime Of The Century, it would be very difficult to Davies&Hodson, band´s creative core, to repeat a fantastic job they have performed before. It is true, as results presented in Crisis ? What Crises show us; but on the other hand they achieved a very strong job, the last one I would put no intense flaws.

Creation success now changed, I prefer Hodson´s stuff than Davies´s one. Easy Does It, but mainly The Soapbox Opera and Two Of Us makes this a work to be deeply respected by prog appreciators. Rick Davies best job here is the excellent Another Man´s Woman. This song ends with an instrumental part which asks for a jamming that could make a live version last for more than ten minutes. I never heard any live version of Another Man´s Woman, but I really see this as the best opportunity for jamming the band made since It's A Long Road. Another song I enjoy very much is Just A Normal Day, with its vocal lines deeply and nicely shared by Roger and Rick; and also with its memorable crooning taste offered to us.

This is a strong four stars. Nevermore Supertramp would present something so solid even in the very appreciated Even In The Quietest Moments. But this is already another review?

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Send comments to Antonio Giacomin (BETA) | Report this review (#364330)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Even though CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? is less "proggy" than CRIME OF THE CENTURY, I find myself listening to it with a greater frequency. There are some wonderful songs on this record- "Easy Does It", "Ain't Nobody But Me", "Soapbox Opera", "Another Man's Woman", "Lady", "The Meaning", and "The Two of Us" being the highlights (almost the whole album!). There is not a bad song here. This is high-powered prog-pop at it's finest, ranking up there with the best of Ambrosia and Styx. While the "prog" veil is thin, there is enough interesting stuff here to keep my attention. I can't justify a 5 star review, but 4 stars is easy. The only Supertramp that surpasses this effort is CRIME OF THE CENTURY, with EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS right behind. This is a consistently great release. 4 stars.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#437251)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 1975, and the band had decamped to America to record the follow up to Crime Of The Century. The broken down Britain they left behind, the intensely hard job of making such an album, even to the point of the title itself, gives us Crisis, What Crisis?

There are some excellent tracks on this album, but, perhaps not surprisingly, it fails to live up to its illustrious immediate predecessor. The production itself is far more spartan, and, in retrospect, it has the feel and sound of a band drawing breath a little before moving on and finding their full mojo again on the subsequent two releases.

Sister Moonshine is, in my opinion, a vastly underrated Supertramp track, based around a mellow tune and whimsical Hodgson lyrics. Ain't Nobody But Me is also very good, perhaps coming closer than most to being a truly joint composition between Davies & Hodgson. What it doesn't have, and I think quite purposefully, is the pomp that would have characterised it on Crime.

There are two tracks, though, which absolutely rank as Supertramp classics, alongside wonders from more accessible and famous albums.

A Soapbox Opera is classic Hodgson. Symphonic, classical, catchy, and, most of all, sung and performed in a wave of such melancholy and yearning for a better world you almost weep listening to it. This is easily the track which comes closest to recreating the feel of Crime, and it is a wonder, exceptionally performed on the Live In Paris album. There is also a wonderful You Tube video of Hodgson performing it solo on his latest tour.

The album closer, Two Of Us, is also very special. Deliberately scaled back, I have always thought of this track as a paeon to the country that the two main protagonists left behind, and, in the face of that, so long as they always worked together, then all would be alright. Actually, in hindsight, this was spot on, because neither Hodgson or Davies prospered commercially or creatively after the band split. A fantastic way to close an album, this is one of my all time favourite pieces of music.

Elsewhere, there is still much to admire. The bluesy love song, Another Man's Women, is classic Rick Davies, and, as with much of his output, is given greater punch and status by the band backing him and his marvellous piano. The sax by Helliwell is especially impressive.

On side two, the closer aside, what we have is a collection of decent Supertramp tracks, but that's about all they are. Lady is about as close to throwaway as it comes. Poor Boy opens and closes with Davies doing a neat impression of a chicken being throttled for Sunday lunch, but there is a very pleasant tune in between, with Davies at his most melancholic. Just A Normal Day features some gorgeous woodwind and orchestration, whilst The Meaning is one of Hodgson's least impressive creations, and becomes deeply annoying at times.

The highspots on this album do definitely outweigh the low points. There are some exceptional tracks, and the musicianship is never anything less than brilliant. It is not, however, the place to start your exploration of Supertramp. In fact, it is probably the last of the "classic" era to begin such a journey.

Three stars. A good album, but far better had preceded it, and was certainly to come.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#459325)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars Supertramp foollowed up their breakthrough (and ultimately their best) album, "Crime Of The Century", with this, a solid but more unassuming album. After having hits with Bloody Well Right and Dreamer, Rick Davies, Roger Hodgson and their band followed the pop path, eliminating most (but not all) of the prog elements from their music.

Unlike "Crime", the best moments on this album have nothing to do with prog. Sister Moonshine is a fair pop song, and Another Man's Woman is an excellent driving rock song. There are some songs that hint at prog coming through, but the band chickens out each time.

And speaking of chickens, Davies vocal imitation of a trumpet on Poor Boy at many times sounds like an inmitation of a chicken instead.

So this is an okay album for listening, just don't expect to be blown away.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#471846)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The followup to Crime of the Century amply demonstrates why Supertramp weren't a band who should be rushed into making studio albums - it's packed with simplistic songs which sound more like sketches for a sequel to their classic concept album than a fully-developed album. There's a few catchy bits here and there, but nothing to creep into the imagination and make a home there like on the previous album; between the insincere pop and the artless art rock, the album is a collection of slickly performed but ultimately soulless duds. Subsequent albums would come out somewhat less frequently and show a degree more care in their composition.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#547867)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars How produce a worthy follow-up to a milestone like "Crime of the Century" was, when you simply don't have the time ? No easy thing at all you can imagine. I think it's to the credit of Supertramp that they didn't aim at doing another heavy-weighing conceptional piece and, instead of this, tried to loosen up a bit, simply focussing on a less cohesive collection of songs that was to clearly show the origins in which their two different writers were rooted. Following the "Motto" of the opening track, "Easy does it", many of the songs had a distinctive fun-approach meant to entertain the listener instead of digging into the deep, though, with a man like Hodgson in the band, you could be sure there were ethereal tracks and ballads about the meaning of life as well... but, for this time, not all of them were as serious as before.

So what do we get here ? Well, we get lots of what Supertramp were about, perhaps we never got it any clearer than with "Crisis? What Crisis ?". On one hand we have Rick Davies, combining piano-based blues, rock, jazz to his very own, powerful mixture, yielding at least one classic with "Ain't nobody but me", but also impressively demonstrating his playing-skills in "Another man's woman", the most complex of his compositions on this album. Those two, together with the blissful comedy of "Poor Boy" ( one of my favourite tracks on this album ), all tell us funny stories about men and women, full of irony and wit.

As I have mentioned before, "Ain't nobody but me" would be in charge of sympathising with stalkers nowadays, so it's worth to take another look at, cause not everything is supposed to be evil when it comes down to a man who's madly focussed on one woman only. Is this man really dangerous ? You can accuse him of embarrassing disrespect while he's only showing that he's devoted to that woman and was willing to do anything for her, because she's so damn attractive. And he's doing it in a funny way, underlining his "importance" with so much exaggeration, the lady is supposed to believe and give in to his...CHARMS ! See, this is a man. It's out of fashion to show it nowadays, we all fear to get under suspicion if we do, but, honestly, you can't blame a man for being a man in love, no, but you can blame a ( real ) stalker for not being a man ! Thanks to Rick for having written this, perhaps it helps to raise some understanding and tolerance where it's needed - and make the difference instead of playing the victim when there's no real offending apparent. A good psychologist can tell you the difference. Rick Davies may not be an examined one, but he's not a bad one either, as many of his lyrics can show you - being food for the brain even when they seem to be rather silly !

Roger Hodgson, on the other hand, is emphasising his singer/songwriter approach with acoustic guitar at the beginning ( "Easy does it"/"Sister Moonshine" ) and the end ( "Two of us" ) of the album, providing its "Frame" while the "painting" itself is rather a pastiche, not a full realised artwork. I quite like the intro, while "Sister Moonshine", for me, does not really belong to his best compositions ( I prefer to play "Give a little bit" straight afterwards, the two of them being the stronger couple ).

"Two of us" was the first song I had known from this album and, for a long time, was to be my favourite. What a beautiful tune, wonderfully arranged as Rick's organ and John Helliwell's sensitive woodwind-playing add magic to the melody. Well, it's a bit lethargic and, perhaps, even self-indulgent to "modern ears" but a gem of a guitar-ballad.

Prog ? Well, be sure, apart from the rather complex construction of "Another Man's Woman" that leads to the whole band to show more of their skills, there is only "A Soapbox Opera", a little symphony of its own, to really give food for the "prog-head", as the rest of the album is rather conservative entertainment. But "A Soapbox Opera" is, in retrospect, also the best song on the album, not only in terms of ethereal feel, melodic brilliance and daring arrangement to hover it above the rest, it's got some of the best lyrics that Hodgson ever came up with.

What is it about ? "Stuck in a congregation" the young believer starts feeling alone with his need to practice the message of love and salvation, determined to take it further to the outside world... just as Jesus says in the bible. All he's being shown inside the "sacred place" is the repetition of a tragedy, people imprisoned within the designs of sin and morality while the preacher's words lose their meaning. He starts doubting them. He feels lost. This cannot be what it's all about. The preacher, "Reverent Eberneezer" ( the booklet of the remastered edition bears a painful mistake altering the songlyric to "I'd never ever leave her" - doesn't make any sense ! ), seems to be blind before the necessities of change and progression, and the believer doesn't know what he alone can do, saying: "There's a storm in my head, makes me feel what you've said just wasn't true !". Why ? He don't seem to care. He's self-content in his role. And therefore he cannot serve the sheep, he's only serving a system. Who but Roger Hodgson could ever write a song like this without getting accused of being a missionary ? I still marvel at it. It's absolutely perfect and it hasn't lost any of its importance. GOD, if ever there is one, is supposed to be a LIVING being and LOVE is a message of giving and taking to be done - and every institution claiming to serve this being is in severe danger of burying this message together with the remainders of whatever "God" has given it INSIDE their system, making prisoners of their members for all the wrong reasons. A song for the pope, if you like. Does the church give an answer to the question of the believer's prayer: "Mary, oh tell me what I'm living for ?" Does it care ? Are priests and preachers doomed to be reduced to civil servants administrating a "Soapbox Opera", lost in repetition, leaving the human being alone in his needs ? Beware !

That's the most of it. "The Meaning" is a little straining and the most forgettable song on the album, while "Lady" is a witty Hodgson-fun-song that served the band as another ( minor ) hit. But "Crisis? What Crisis?" does also contain a seldom example of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson having written a tune together. "Just a normal Day". It's a string-loaded ballad, a sad, reflective one, and it's not really a highlight, but it perfectly captures the mood of loneliness.

Some say that "Crisis" is underrated. It's good, but it sure can't live up to its predecessor and, compared to "Even in the quietest moments", does also appear to be a rather transitional album. I'd give it a 4 stars any day, though, but for PA that'd be just one star too much. I think it's a bit better than "Famous last Words" cause it's got more life and energy in it. But with its most apparent highlights "A Soapbox Opera" and "Ain't nobody but me" being even better on the more "prog"-loaden "Paris"-Live Album and my personal pleasure-song "Poor Boy" being anything but ( not ) prog I would not call it "essential" for prog-fans, in spite of it being "essential" for fans of this band.

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Send comments to rupert (BETA) | Report this review (#610375)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars And here we have the reason why Supertramp is not held up as one of the great bands of the 70s in the same way as Pink Floyd or The Who even though Crime of the Century enjoys tremendous popularity. Crisis? What Crisis? lacks both consistency and focus and while decent enough in its own right, can feel like a huge letdown as the followup to Crime of the Century.

At the outset, the band seem to face the dilemma of many other bands that broke through: should they change or should they reprise the winning formula? On the one hand, some songs like Easy Does It or Sister Moonshine are so, well, smooth you can hardly believe it is Supertramp. The trademark Supertramp tension is nowhere in sight in these songs. On the other, songs like Ain't Nobody But Me seem to be trying too hard to capture 'past' glory.

The album's biggest problem, though, is that chief songwriters Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson have already started pulling too much in different directions. It is, paradoxically, also what keeps the album lively and lets some of their talents individually shine through. Had they been too committed as a group to a successful followup, the results could have been even more bland. MAYBE, this is all just conjecture, so do take it with a pinch of salt for your guess is as good as mine.

So, anyway, Davies and Hodgson's styles and preferences begin to stand out rather clearly on this album where on Crime...they somehow coalesced into one cohesive whole. Another Man's Woman bears the distinct signature of Davies while Soapbox Opera has got to be Hodgson.

As I said earlier, it is a problem to the extent that it robs the album of focus. But, Another Man's Woman is a superb song with the band taking another stab at fashioning a spine chilling coda. While this one is not quite as gripping as Crime of the Century (song), it works very well. Soapbox Opera is up and down and seems to slump in parts but overall makes a strong impression. On 'Lady', their styles meet and result in arguably the best track of the album. It's certainly my favourite, has both the foot tapping appeal of Hodgson and the keyboard magic of Davies.

I might have ignored the lack of focus and rounded off the rating to a four had the songs at least been consistently strong. Unfortunately, the album sort of goes to sleep on the last three tracks. Just A Normal Day is quite promising initially but fizzles out in spite of a riveting saxophone solo while The Meaning and Two of Us don't even gather that much momentum. As a matter of fact, for a long time, I would never get beyond Poor Boy, the last great track in running order on the album, in my opinion.

Overall, a good album with some strong tracks but leaves you feeling shortchanged given the considerable talents of both masterminds as well as the rest of the band. Unfortunately, that feeling tends to persist with some of their other releases as well. Lack of quality control? Who knows but Crisis? What Crisis? ultimately flatters to deceive. 3 stars.

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Send comments to rogerthat (BETA) | Report this review (#628597)
Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars I enjoy reading these (ProgArchives) reviews... seeing what other people think about albums that i'm familiar with. I've never posted before until now, though. The last few days i've been reading hundreds and hundreds of reviews of the later Yes and Genesis albums that i "rejected" back in the day. (I didn't actually reject them so much as just never listen, giving up on the bands after _And Then There Were Three_ and _Going for the One_.) Some of their later stuff isn't really so bad, although i'll say that i've always found Genesis' pop aspirations far more palatable than Yes' (I even think Phil Collins' first couple of albums are actually pretty good pop that i can enjoy... on rare occasions -- and in limited doses -- nowadays.)

So, far from being aversive to pop, i can actually LIKE it. To me, pop means that it's both catchy and popular. That doesn't mean it's any good. That's another axis altogether. So, to Supertramp. First, i'm surprised that there are relatively so few reviews here compared to Yes and Genesis. I'll admit that, until reading reviews on the later Genesis albums i never even realized what a hugely successful pop phenomenon they were. Maybe Genesis (despite most of their later music not being to my taste) did a service to the world of music, in general, in helping to at least elevate the level of commercially successful pop music somewhat.

Supertramp is a band that has substantial pop elements, as some reviewers noted is true for this album. I think the most successful creation of absolutely fantastic pop music happened on Supertramp's later _Breakfast In America_. I don't rate that as highly as _Crisis! What Crisis?_, but that's because some of the weaker songs on the former fall below a threshold where i just don't want to hear them any more ("Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song"). This is all to situate myself, as the reviewer, so that you, the reader, can better gauge what i have to say about _Crisis? What Crisis?_. IMO, the best Genesis album is _Selling England by the Pound_, the best Yes album _Close to the Edge_ and the best Supertramp album _Crisis? What Crisis?_

Mostly, i don't listen much to any of this stuff any more, most of my listening being focused on the unfolding state of the "current" music scene (listening to The Frames _The Cost_, right at the moment... not exactly current, but a great album). One last comment regarding situating myself, the reviewer: King Crimson tops all of the aforementioned, with my favorite albums of theirs being either _Lizard_ or _Larks' Tongues In Aspic_ (both absolutely great albums).

I encountered _Crime of the Century_ while i was in college and... it's hard to describe how it affected me other than to say i was _deeply_ into it. This before _Crisis?_ was released. Then came _Crisis?_ and i found it to be a more mature album. There's a sort of deeply adolescent streak deep within the heart of _Crime of the Century_ that both deeply resonated with me at the time, and hasn't worn so well since then. _Crisis? What Crisis?_, on the other hand, is an album that hasn't lost one whit of it's charm for me. This doesn't happen unless an album has variety and mixes this variety up well. _Crisis?_ does this perfectly.

For me, there isn't a weak song (not even close) on this album. In fact, for a long time, i considered that it had the 3 greatest songs ever to be placed in succession on an album: "Poor Boy," "Just a Normal Day," and "The Meaning." To this day, these songs still evoke in me strong emotions, although the emotions evoked by each of these songs are worlds apart (that's variety for you). Each of these songs (as with most of the rest of the album) reflect that apotheosis of good songwriting: a perfect marriage of words, music and meaning. "Poor Boy" is a song that, to me, voices some of my deepest feelings about life, but if those feelings are about just being happy and satisfied in the little things, then it's not such a "serious" song (although i take it completely seriously). "Just a Normal Day" is almost heartbreaking. The feeling of melancholy evoked by this song fits the sentiment perfectly, although to feel this way you have to perceive what a "normal day" means from a perspective similar to that of the songwriter. "The Meaning" is harder to grasp, with the song swirling and crescendoing around lyrics that are saying something deep in a somewhat oblique way.

As for the rest of the songs... "Two of Us" reminds me of "Follow You Follow Me" by Genesis (a song that i find beautiful, utterly rejecting the idea that because it's pop or schmaltz or a love song or whatever, it can't also be a great composition). Where "Follow You Follow Me" is "just" a beautiful song and sentiment however, "Two of Us" is almost painful in it's beauty.

"Lady" is probably the "weakest" song on the album, poppy, and a herald of what was to come on _Breakfast In America_... absolutely top-grade pop. The keyboards propel the song along verse by verse, the melody ascending by steps, urgency heightening subtly, broken by a minor-key transition in the middle and then ending with an instrumental outro that reminds me of "Take the Long Way Home" (this part is one of those that represents a "weaker" point on the album).

As for the rest of it... you just have to hear it. It's the pinnacle of Supertramp's songwriting prowess over the length of a full album. Starting out with "Easy Does It" / "Sister Moonshine" (slotted side by side, belonging together, as does each song on this album), followed by the hard-edged "swing" of "Easy Does It," segueing into "A Soapbox Opera" (a _great_ song with, imo, great lyrics... reminding me of the later "Fool's Overture" in the introduction), then "Another Man's Woman," a nice pop/rock song that, again, fits into the album sequence perfectly (following the plaintive mood of "A Soapbox Opera" with something completely different), followed itself by "Lady."

So, there you have it. A minority view, which is what prompted me to write this. Only "friso"s review seemed to appreciate the merits of this album as i do. Supertramp, in my view, was exceptional (perhaps even unique) in being able to "go commercial" with such fabulous success (musically, not necessarily commercially: Genesis seems to have been top at that game). The proof of that wouldn't be clearly seen until _Breakfast In America_, though ("Gone Hollywood" ... such a _great_ song... "Goodbye Stranger," "Just Another Nervous Wreck"), but that's for another review. _Crime of the Century_ is, without question, a great album (although "Dreamer" is a precursor to the later, relative, duds on _BinA_ that i mentioned previously). But _Crisis? What Crisis?_ is (for me) Supertramp at their absolute peak.

A non-music related note: there are so many bands listed on ProgArchives that don't make "Progressive" music that i'd rather that this distinction of whether something is a masterpiece of "progressive rock" or not just go away, as far as rating the album (how about: "Essential: a masterpiece, worthing of inclusion in anyone's prog rock music collection"?). There's no question in my mind that _Crisis? What Crisis?_ is a masterpiece, 5 star album. But, alas, i can't say it's a masterpiece of progressive rock, because it just isn't that. It's "just" a masterpiece, full stop.

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Send comments to criegod (BETA) | Report this review (#966566)
Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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