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Carl Palmer - 1:PM CD (album) cover

1:PM

Carl Palmer

Crossover Prog


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Punk

For his first venture into solo album territory Carl Palmer, like Greg Lake, formed a band. Unlike Lake however, Palmer decided to be more democratic, and did not simply use his own name for the band, preferring to adopt the name PM. In fairness, Lake's solo albums were easily identified through his instantly recognisable voice, where as Palmer remains firmly behind the drum stool here.

"1PM" turned out to be the only album released by PM. It should be seen as a precursor to Palmer's involvement with Asia, rather than a side project of Emerson Lake and Palmer. The music is firmly rooted in the punk pop environment of the early 80's, the longest of the 10 tracks clocking in at a mere four minutes. The Asia comparisons are therefore in themselves rather misleading, as the music here does not generally have the refined quality which was the hallmark of Asia's sound. The new wave influences of the period come through in throughout the album. Tracks such as the opening "Dynamite" and the following "You've got me rockin'" might be described as the BOOMTOWN RATS meet UTOPIA in their later days.

"Green velvet splendour" finds keyboard player Todd Cochran doing a reasonable impression of TALKING HEADS, but despite a fair synthesiser run things are deteriorating rapidly. They plummet to their worst with the pathetic lyrics of "Do you go all the way". The song is apparently intended to be tongue in cheek, but it misfires badly.

While the song-writing credits are spread reasonably democratically throughout the rest of the band, Carl is conspicuously absent from them throughout. The simple nature of the songs render the drum contributions perfunctory; there really is no need for someone of Carl's ability to be involved. A trained monkey could have picked up the basic rhythms in half an hour.

Just how much influence and involvement Carl had in this project, other than blessing it with his name and some rudimentary drumming, is a matter for conjecture. At the end of the day though, the album lacks any appeal whatsoever, and fails to offer anything remotely of interest.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#114994)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After ELP disbanded Carl Palmer was the first (ex) member to form a new band.I remember Carl being interviewed on BBC Radio One which also included a phone in at the time and he picked a few songs from bands he liked including Blondie and The Police as I recall.He indicated his liking for 'new wave' music.He also picked My Generation by The Who.Interestingly he was asked on the phone in who he admired in the jazz rock field and he admitted he has very little interest in that style of music even though he was aware that he could play it to a reasonable standard.

So with that in mind Palmer was never going to form another prog band.He wanted musicians who could both play,write songs and even provide vocal harmonies and went about acquiring such personell via audition tapes.As it happened the ones he liked the most came from America.PM was born and this (their only album) was the result.As Bob rightly points out this does have some obvious Cars influence.However its a bit extreme to call it ''punk'' as such.Much closer to the AOR style that his next band Asia adopted.In fact some of the songs here are a good match up for the songs on Side One of Asia.Where this fails to get off the ground though is the lack of any real development of an original sound.Whereas Asia did Wildest Dreams and Time And Time Again the nearest comparison on 1PM is Children of The Air Age.PM also had an immature mysogonistic approach to writing lyrics as evidenced on Do You Go All The Way (btw Carl defended the lyrics on this!).

So is it actually any good? Well the greatest crime you can commit in my book is being bland.This is not bland in any way.In fact the melodies are decent and the playing is good throughout.The production is sub standard and for that reason I have to knock a mark off otherwise I might have considered it a 3 star album.Its not that bad though and as a debut album showed potential.Unfortunately Palmer just didn't have enough faith in his pet project and when the call came from Steve Howe the rest as we know was history.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#115217)
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This album is pretty much precursory of what ''Asia'' would release a little later. Pure AOR music with very, very little accent of prog added. I am not convinced at all (to say the least) while I'm reading why this artist should be added into the PROG archive: ''because he is simply the god. the true god of prog drumming hhahhahah.'.

This sounds almost as a nonsense to me. Carl is indeed a fabulous drummer (I witnessed an ELP concert in 1974), but this ''1 PM'' album is quite flat and uninteresting. Fortunately should I say, there won't be any other studio album from this band.

There is no question of prog throughout this short of work. Nor even drumming maestria, as Carl didn't want to play a prominent role here. What's left are just a bunch of straight forward pop-rock songs at best. But the global mood is seriously AOR oriented. And it is not my cup of tea.

I guess that the very few reviews of these albums (studio or live) are a good indicator of how you should absorb the music. It is painful to say, and it is best avoided. There is really no interest to describe this album track by track. It is unfortunately weak from start to finish.

Maybe that the Devo oriented ''Do You Go All The Way'' is a little better.But that's it, really. Some other average new wave tunes are ''Go For It'' and ''You're Too Much''. But did we expect this type of music from Carl Palmer? Probably not.

I am quite embarrassed in terms of rating: one or two stars? The best out of it starts after the middle of the album. The fresh and funny ''Madeleine'' is not too bad. Let's be generous this time. Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#214540)
Posted Saturday, May 09, 2009 | Review Permalink

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