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Amon Düül II - Almost Alive... CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II


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2 stars After "Vive la Trance" that I consider to be the last of the real Amon Duul II 's sound, all the following albums released by the band will become weaker. Where are the freaky, psychedelic jams, where are the stoned voices and the ethnic percussions? The magic years belong to the past and this album is just boring, full of short common rock songs...It announces the decline of the band and the release of very poor albums such as "Only Human" or "Vortex". The band turns to something very soft, light, bringing modern synth, almost making commercial rock and old dated ballads. Hopefully the album contains a few memorable moments; the catchy and efficient rock tune wich opens the album or the song "Live in Jericho". Amon Duul not in top form!!!
Report this review (#36857)
Posted Saturday, June 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Almost alive well thats a good name for the album as its right as duul here sound like there dieing the duul have lost it big time klaus ebert on vocals on one blue morning[track 1]alone,come on he just doesnt sound a singer and sounds kind of crap but the music aint to bad maybe they should of just had chris karrer do the vocals and have done with it as it would of sounded better,goodbye my love starts kind a bit not to bad just not excellentthe first 2 songs on this album arnt great but aint today tomorrows yesterday with chris karrer on voacals makes things more promising and is a great song to which starts with good sound and karrer in good form and at the 3 min.50 mark the song just gets going with piano sound and trumpet and really a good feel kicks in and this makes the song the best on the whole album and is worth having just for this song i love this song,hallelujah starts with a feel like it might be good and it reminds me of something from a 1970s tv show theme tune so not so good[no offence to 70s tv but the theme music was hilarious in them days]it might sound better live but its just kind of a bit dull i think but ok at times,feeling uneasy starts with nice guitar part with stefan zauner on vocals and has sax in this which makes it an ok song but zauners voice dont do it basicly but there is bits in the song i dont mind but wouldnt say this is brilliant but ok,live in jericho starts brilliant it has a good drum part at the near start and leopold sounds good here[no john bonham but for leopold he sounds great]really going for itand then a bass part comes inwhich sounds kind of nice and kind of relaxing and a keyboard bit comes in which in with the bass part and sounds nice and the proper keyboard part comes in with the guitar and the guitar part has to be john weinzierls best ive heard his best,its a pity it had to be on one of the worst duul albums a good end to a duul album which isnt that good but 2 good songs on it and they are aint today tomorrows yesterday,and live in jericho,the bonus tracks cosmic insects is something i switch of everytime its a karrer track but not good i cant understand why its on this album as its a waste of time,live in obergurgl sounds like the rif from one blue morning i think it is but a waste of time putting it on here,kitchen jam is the best of the bonus tracks but aint brilliant but at times listenable,i give this 2 stars as for the 2 good songs and as for the rest of it it isnt worth a piss on if its on fire,2 stars.
Report this review (#204587)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars You must think me an ignorant bastard for rating this album so high. Ignorant because this is almost universally hailed as a lacklustre album where the band apparently sold their souls down the river. A bastard for simply saying otherwise. I have never been partial to the psychedelic space-jam. The first and most classic phase of Amon Düül II has never really got their hooks and teeth in me. I have eluded it's grasp, one might say. I do not comprehend it. I think the same goes for Brainticket and the likes. It does not feel right. So, now that we have gotten that out of the way, what is there to be said about Almost alive, that lacklustre disaster of an album, released in the crest of disco and proggy disillusion? I think a lot needs to be said. First I would like to point out that I, being ever the novice in the waters of Amon Düül II, really have no in depth knowledge of them. Bearing that in mind it may help to explain why I feel so positive about this album. Secondly, it is far from the intergalactid psychedelia of the early years. The music on Almost alive is a concoction of prog, disco and spacey interludes, mainly thanks to the wonderful keyboards present. Someone mentioned Eloy as a reference to this album. In parts I think that could be close to the truth but I get a sense of Hawkwind (around this time) aswell. There is a jazzyness to it aswell, as evident in the electric piano starting up "Live in Jericho". This is a track heavy on percussion but also very floating, gentle walls of keyboard that evokes images of floating in space. Stuck inside a drifting shuttle and what not. It is actually quite splendid. The disco parts are very evident in the opening track "One blue morning". No, it is not "Stayin' alive" by The Bee Gees but it holds a funky, discofied feel to it. Very much of it's time I think. Keyboards and guitar complement each other very well over the "dry" drums. "Good bye my love" opens beautifully with keyboards which reminds me of England's Garden shed but belongs in a distinctly more spacey genre. "Ain't today tomorrows yesterday" opens up with a great but simple, therefore effective, guitar riff and holds a great section of trumpets and mellotron (?) in an almost Beatles kond of way. "Hallelujah" is probably the most un-melodious of the songs, though by no means a free form jam. I hear (whether it is true or not) echoes of Exodus, the polish band. Great, nevertheless. "Feeling uneasy" is also a fine track in a spacey pop-prog kind of way. The Nik Turner-ian saxophone is great, so are the easy going bridges. And the ending "Live in Jericho" is, as previously stated, a great track. I think that some albums are misunderstood and miscredited, due to the fact that they differ too much from the more classical and generally more praised albums. This, I suppose, is one of those albums. It has, as stated, very little to do with the earlier incarnations of the band's sound. This is in fact a more melodious, "easy" album to approach. It has lots to offer. The band seems committed and determined to give their all, only in a different setting. Apart from that aspect, the music really shows the immense talent of the band. They are highly competent musicians able to transform and enter other realms and doing so in a splendid way. There is a majestic and sometimes otherwordly feel to it all. It is a product of the determination and drive to perform, evolve and change. That is truly progressive and while this album certainly isn't hard to chew and digest it holds plenty of progressive flavor to please me.

A great but misunderstood album. 4 stars for me.

Report this review (#1313753)
Posted Saturday, November 22, 2014 | Review Permalink

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