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Curved Air - Lovechild CD (album) cover

LOVECHILD

Curved Air

Eclectic Prog


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3 stars Following the release of their 1972 masterpiece "Phantasmagoria" which however did not do at all well as fare as sales were concerned, Curved Air split up.The main reason was the personal and musical differences within the band. Retaining the band name, Vocalist Sonja Kristina and bassist Mike Wedgwood (who had replaced Eyre for Phantasmagoria) brought in an entire new lineup - Jim Russell (drums), Kirby Gregory (guitar), and Eddie Jobson (violin, synths). This line up released two albums, Air Cut in early 1973 and this one, their second album titled "Lovechild". However the band split up once again with Eddie Jobson moving on to replace Brian Eno in ROXY MUSIC and Wedgewood joining CARAVAN. For this reason the Lovechild album was shelved and was only (finally) released in 1990. Although this album does not compare well with the standard set by the earlier recordings it is still worth listening to. Eddie Jobson on violin provides a good idea of what was to follow in his future career and of course Sonja Kristina's vocals are as powerful as ever. On the whole this is a good album and even though it cannot be compared to the magnificent "Phantasmagoria" it is certainly worth listening to and I can safely say that this is an essential album for the CURVED AIR fans.
Report this review (#28122)
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Here's one we made earlier

Although only released in 1990, this album consists of previously unreleased material recorded in 1972-3. The line up is essentially the one which recorded "Air Cut", except that former member Florian Pilkington-Miksa returns on some of the tracks.

Eddie Jobson (who later went on to join Roxy Music) and Kirby (who joined Stretch) had worked well together on "Air Cut", but here they are far more distant and entrenched in their own preferences. The result is inevitably an pretty incoherent, but nonetheless enjoyable collection of songs.

The album is bound together with Sonja Kristina's superbly distinctive vocals. When she sings in her angelic higher tones, such as on "The dancer", the results are truly beautiful. When she adopts a deeper tone however (such as on "The widow"), she struggles more to remain in tune. (The opposite of the great (sic) Karen Carpenter.)

The title track sounds like an outtake from the "Air Cut " album, it would certainly have been worthy of inclusion there, especially when combined with the brief symphonic opening track, "Exsultate jubilate".

"Seasons" is a long slow power ballad with some good bluesy guitar work, but a single pace which continues on the Kirby led instrumental "The flasher". There are echoes on 10CC on this track, it's almost a slowed down version of their "How dare you".

"Joan" which opens side two has a lovely piano intro which sounds remarkably like Yes' intro to "Awaken". This track had actually been recorded some three years earlier. "Paris by night" gives Jobson centre stage for the closing track, which is rather uninspired repetitive piano piece.

Not by any means the best work to be recorded under the Curved Air name, but the music was certainly deserving of its somewhat belated release.

Report this review (#28123)
Posted Saturday, August 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great album.I must say this came as a big surprise.The cd was very cheap and I thought that the music would be boring or something.I was wrong.The music is very inspiring and it helps you to chill out.The vocals are beautiful and the whole band seems to be very skilled.Nice record.
Report this review (#28124)
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars When I saw this release on LP in a record shop in the late-90's, I was instantly curious - sporting a stylistic re-hash of their debut release's cover, I whipped it up straight away (15 bucks) and almost ran red lights and broke the speed limit to get home so I could hear it A.S.A.P. Once home, a quick skip through each track held promise, oh, what 'could have been'.....

Opening with a brief synth piece, performed by a guest, John O'Hara (don't even know how he's linked to Curved Air) left me wondering 'why?' The songs really sound half-baked and in-complete. The gorgeous singing of Sonja Kristina is still intact, Mike Wedgewood's prescence is felt, but super-star Eddie Jobson was very low-key, contributing only light violin and keyboard touches, I'm sure he could've 'decorated' these songs with more colour, had the line-up not fragmented half way through. Only a few tracks move me - 'Lovechild', the lengthy 'Seasons' (though the violin sounds a bit flat, not usual Jobson quality) and 'Paris By Night' (which showed potential). The remaining tracks are rather 'empty' and straight-forward so I can only recommend this to fans and collectors by awarding it 2 stars.

Report this review (#113061)
Posted Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2,5 stars, really. Recorded soon after the Air Cut album sessions, Lovechild was only released in 1990. I was eager to get this CD, since I´m a big fan of the band, and I really like Air Cut, even though it was quite different from what the band had made before. Well, I must say I was a bit disappointed with Lovechild. Of course I was not waiting for a masterpiece, but most of the songs here sounds too much like the Air Cut leftovers than a ´real´ album. Small wonder why this project was shelved for so long...

Still, there are good moments. Sonja Kristina´s voice is beautiful and she is the main reason this album works. Lovechild and Seasons are the best songs, both real fine display of great musicanship and inspiration. The musicians are outstanding of course, but Eddie Jobson is somewhat subdue here (maybe he was already thinking about leaving). The songwriting is the down side of the CD: nothing here, even the best cuts, have the power and the beauty of the previous work like Easy, Metamorphosis or Armin. It´s not bad record, far from it, but you should not expect anything special. It would have made a great extra bonus CD for an Air Cut remaster CD release.

Report this review (#184861)
Posted Monday, October 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The genesis of this album is rather strange. One can ask: why the hell was this material not released while the songs were composed or: why the hell was it necessary to release songs from previous sessions and which couldn't make the original album?

My answer is pretty easy: it is just because the material available here is not good enough. The listener is not confronted to a lost jewel to say the least. Even if this album is nothing worse than some of their latest work available (but this has nothing to do with these, since these songs were recorded several years before), there is little to retain here.

My favourite track is ''Seasons''. Some ''Renaissance'' feel, a good vocal performance from Sonja and a pleasant melody . It is also one of the longest ''Curved Air'' tracks ever. The crystal clear vocal work from Sonja is particularly pleasant. It has a definite psychedelic taste and an oppressive mood. The one and only highlight

But the reggae-oriented ''The Flasher'' is probably not what you would have expected from ''Curved Air''. A total disaster and a typical ''press next'' tune.

Between those two extremes, there are some enjoyable songs like ''Lovechild'' or ''The Dancer''. Unfortunately the jazzy feel of a song like ''The Widow'' ruins somewhat the good impression. The closing ''Paris By Night'' is another ''Renaissance'' piece of music. The piano intro (almost three minutes though) is particularly similar to the work of this band. While one expects the song to really kick off after this, the disappointment prevails. It is only a repetitive instrumental track with little flavour.

The songs could have remained in the vaults IMO. This effort is very short (some thirty five minutes) and even if it would have been a pity for ''Seasons'', the band wouldn't have cared in releasing such an album. The only great track available here (''Seasons'') should have made its entry on ''Air Cut'' and we could have skipped this album easily.

Two stars.

Report this review (#193947)
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Review Permalink

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