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KLAATU

Prog Related • Canada


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Klaatu biography
Klaatu gained international attention by remaining hidden for two albums, the first of which was rumoured (partly by yours truly) to be a hidden Beatles reunion album. Their first album 3:47 EST indeed was superb enough to qualify as a Beatles album, with some very skilful songwriting, excellent production and splendid execution. One could fault their inspiration, since they are definitely Beatles-esque, but they manage this better than any other group ever had or has since this album. By the time their stunning follow-up album Hope (the main reason for the group's inclusion on ProgArchives) was released, it was clear they were not the Beatles, but nevertheless the songwriting, execution and inspiration remained flawless.

As the Beatles imposture now was endangering the hype to grotesque, Klaatu made their "coming out" around or after the release of their third album as a trio with Terry Draper, John Woloschuck and Dee Long. Sir Army Suite (where they had represented themselves into the artwork), was a rather poor album and the magic was just gone. Then followed by an even-poorer (and aptly-titled) Endangered Species drove them on the brink of extinction. The group faded into oblivion and amid complete indifference in the early 80's, after a slightly better Magenta Lane album.



:::: Bio written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium ::::

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Klaatu -  Siry Army Suit / Endangered SpeciesKlaatu - Siry Army Suit / Endangered Species
Import · Remastered
BGO 2015
Audio CD$8.97
$8.96 (used)
Klaatu -  Klaatu / HopeKlaatu - Klaatu / Hope
Import · Remastered
BGO 2015
Audio CD$10.38
$9.29 (used)
3:47 Est3:47 Est
Conveyor 2015
Audio CD$12.00
$22.79 (used)
MagentalaneMagentalane
Permanent Press/Permanent Wave 1995
Audio CD$74.95
$64.95 (used)
PeaksPeaks
Import
Import [Generic] 1998
Audio CD$99.97
$10.93 (used)
HopeHope
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$12.06
$12.05 (used)
KlaatuKlaatu
Capitol
Vinyl$19.75 (used)
SolologySolology
Import
2011
Audio CD$79.88
$50.00 (used)
klaatu LPklaatu LP
DAFFODIL
Vinyl$9.94 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Klaatu Magentalane 1981 Capitol Records Canada SEALED Rock-Psych LP USD $19.99 [1 bids]
2h 11m
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KLAATU discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KLAATU top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 94 ratings
3:47 E.S.T.
1976
4.01 | 122 ratings
Hope
1977
2.95 | 41 ratings
Sir Army Suit
1978
1.94 | 32 ratings
Endangered Species
1980
2.63 | 33 ratings
Magentalane
1981

KLAATU Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

KLAATU Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KLAATU Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 9 ratings
Sun Set
1973
4.04 | 7 ratings
Klaassic Klaatu
1982
3.75 | 4 ratings
Peaks
1993
2.38 | 7 ratings
Sir Army Suit / Endangered Species
1994
4.85 | 14 ratings
Two Classic Albums from Klaatu
1999
4.35 | 7 ratings
Sun Set: 1973-1981
2005

KLAATU Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

KLAATU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hope by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 122 ratings

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Hope
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Somewhere out there in the annals of prog history, there is an album that combines the Yellow Submarine/Magical Mystery Tour Beatles with Bohemian Rhapsody Queen and adds a touch of Final Cut Pink Floyd all performed in a way that sometimes sounds like a children's fantasy movie for adults. This quirky production belongs to Klaatu, a trio of musicians to emerge from Canada with a sound that was so uncannily like the Beatles at times that in the beginning that they were mistaken for a secret reformation of the legendary band under the guise of an obscure alias.

"Hope" is the simple title of this musical number and it is either two stories that are part of the same tale or two separate stories told over the course of eight tracks. Two of the first three songs, "We're off You Know" and "Around the Universe in Eighty Days" are about space travel, a theme already covered on their debut album. The track in between these two, "Madness" could be related either to these two or the story that comes after.

The main story here is the tale of an ancient advanced civilization called Politzania which seems to have existed on another world from ours. They were a proud people who thought themselves the highest of all civilizations but fell in some disastrous war with another race, or so I gather. The track "Long Live Politzania" is told mostly by a stuttering archaeologist who speaks like a dithering British professor without the accent. This can bit a bit detracting from the music at times, especially the part about reclaiming the brains of non-believers in Politzania's superiority, but the music is very dramatic with orchestra and band. Different voices and different styles of music make this seem like a musical soundtrack. "The Loneliest of Creatures", "Prelude", "So Said the Lighthouse Keeper", and "Hope" all help tell the story through lyric and music, and the whole package is quite a decent production.

The one track that will stand out is "Madness" which has what I've decided is "Flying V rock". This is because each time the music gets heavy and the electric guitar comes rocking in, I imagine that the guitar is a Flying V. I can't help but imagine that this kind of music must be played on a Flying V. It's my favourite song on the album, too!

A little bit cute in a way, this is an impressive performance nonetheless. There are some who call this one of the little known must have albums. Maybe picture "The Neverending Story" or "Dark Crystal" or something like that with Muppets but about a lost civilization on another planet. Some great music here and imagination, too.

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 3:47 E.S.T. by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 94 ratings

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3:47 E.S.T.
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A couple of decades ago or more, I heard a funny song somewhere. Perhaps it was on the radio or maybe on a compilation CD borrowed from the library. "Anus of Uranus". It could have been a MacLean & MacLean song with a title like that. Jump ahead to 2005 and I get my first lap top and it can burn CDs. Hooray! I had been a mixed tape kind of guy since the 80's. Now I would be able to burn mixed CDs. I had a theme in mind: a space song mix. And as I considered songs for the playlist, I recalled that silly anus song. A friend had introduced me to a web site where songs could be downloaded free. I always like to purchase music on CD but in this case, for one song, I got it from that site. Later I read that the band, Klaatu, were Canadian. Always interested in supporting home grown bands, I decided to keep Klaatu in mind.

Now we reach 2015 in my story and I was making a playlist of seventies Canadian bands, and Klaatu popped up from my memory. I checked them out on Wikipedia and was surprised to see them classified as pop prog. Prog? It's been my observation that Canada mostly missed two important periods in the evolution of rock music: the early first generation of heavy metal between 1968 and 1973 (not many bands that I know of) and the seventies prog movement (Harmonium, Rush and... Saga... and... ?). So this suddenly became a band I needed to hear. I ordered the anus album, "3:47 E.S.T.".

Now there's a funny story about this album and Klaatu. When the first couple of singles were released, there was an American DJ who heard the song "Subrosa Subway" and thought it sounded remarkably like the Beatles. He looked at the album and found that there were no names given and no photos of the band members. It was just Klaatu. "Could this possibly be," he surmised, "a Beatles album? That the Beatles have reformed and released an album under an alias?" He boldly announced his supposition to the public and enticed his listeners with supposed hints that his theory was true. The American label found that this was a great publicity stunt and would be good for boosting album sales and went along with the whole thing. The band, however, simply denied the story when asked. In the U.K., a music reporter pulled the plug on the story, saying that there was an American DJ foolish enough to not be able to distinguish the Beatles from this band. Nevertheless, Klaatu rarely performed live and recorded their second album and released it without any personnel mentioned by name, keeping an air of mystery about them.

The album is quite work of progressive rock with strong pop melodies. It does indeed resemble the Beatles often, especially the songs with John Woloschuk on lead vocals. Though the music is never really complex, there's a strong formula of simple and catchy melodies and a clever use of rock and symphonic instruments to create music that goes beyond the standard pop song. Dee Long's "Anus of Uranus" (about a space man who picks up the song's narrator and takes him around the solar system) and "True Life Hero" are more standard rock songs but with interesting lyrics. Other musical themes include the experiment that was done to contact alien spacecraft through the transmission of a welcoming thought by thousands of people at once. You can read about the song "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" on Wikipedia and find the link to the real life story. This song was covered with great success by the Carpenters a year later. There's also the story of New York's first subway in "Subrosa Subway", one of my two favourite tracks on the album. I also really like "California Jam" which shifts through various themes like a musical number.

The last three tracks have as yet failed to really captivate me. "Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby" is a humorous song about a ship's captain who disappears at sea but seems to have returned, stating "I'm the only one who ever went to Hell and came back alive". It's done in a funny, Pirates of Penzance kind of way and has a female back up vocal group that make the musical effect even better. "Neutrino" is musically simple but beautiful, but also a bit weird with distorted vocal effects meant to emulate an imaginary neutrino voice. There's a story about the band experimenting with sound effects in the studio in Toronto when Mick Jagger walked in wondering what the heck they were doing in there. "Dr. Marvello" is also a bit show tunesy. Some songs remind me a little of It Bites' album "Once Around the World" and the song "Hunting the Whale".

Klaatu concocted some really wonderful music on this album. Some might not like it because it's not complex enough, too much like the Beatles, or too sweet in pop melodies. But I have been enjoying the first five tracks immensely over the last two months and keep coming back to them again and again.

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 Hope by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 122 ratings

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Hope
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Klaatu's Hope illustrates perfectly why people at the time speculated that they might be a sneakily reunited Beatles - between the vocal harmonies and the whimsical compositional style they sound uncannily like late-era Beatles with mildly updated instrumentation and production values. Few bands can pull off the Beatles' particular style of whimsy without sounding like irritatingly twee tryhards - hell, even the Beatles themselves couldn't pull it off 100% of the time - but here Klaatu nail it. Even when the album becomes saccharine and annoying, it does so at exactly the points the Fab Four themselves would have become saccharine and annoying. With a Phil Spector-like wall of sound approach applied to the production with skill and finesse, the better portions of the album put me in mind of a version of Let It Be that actually works, and for that achievement at least they deserve recognition.

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 3:47 E.S.T. by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 94 ratings

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3:47 E.S.T.
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Canadian progressive rock outfit Klaatu released their debut 3:47 EST - referring to the time that the alien emissary "klaatu" arrived in Washington DC in the 1951 film, The Day The Earth Stood Still - in 1976 to a rather interesting response. Rumored to be a secret reunion of The Beatles, Klaatu received a fair amount of commercial attention due to these speculations. While this rumor did obviously turn out to be proven incorrect, the style of psychedelic pop heard on 3:47 EST is very likely to appeal to fans of the Fab Four's later material.

While this album may have been released in 1976, almost everything about it brings late-sixties' proto progressive rock acts like The Beatles, Procol Harum, and The Moody Blues to mind. In addition to the organic production, the tracks here have a psychedelic and mildly progressive flair that sounds rather different from what other bands were doing by this point in time. Though 3:47 EST has a few hard-rocking tunes like "True Life Hero", Klaatu shines brightest in the more progressive songs like "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (a superb sci-fi epic that was clearly influenced by The Moody Blues) and the Beatlesque "Sub-Rosa Subway". Speaking of The Beatles, "Doctor Marvello" sounds almost eerily like something from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - the use of backward tape loops, trumpet lines, vocal harmonies, harpsichords, and Indian instruments make this track sound like pure Beatles worship.

Being a fan of the Fab Four, I don't have much of an issue with Klaatu's strong Beatles influence throughout 3:47 EST, but I feel like the listen is rather inconsistent as a whole. While the band does try some unique things here, especially in "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", it seems like they borrow ideas from The Beatles as a bit of a crutch. The record's abrupt changes from moody space rock to rather generic hard rock and psychedelic pop, and even strange theatrical stuff on "Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III" makes for a somewhat disjointed listen, but Klaatu thankfully have penned solid enough material to make this recommendable to fans of progressive pop music. It's definitely an interesting curio from a band with a lot of promise, and I'll be interested to hear to the rest of Klaatu's discography in the near future.

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 3:47 E.S.T. by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 94 ratings

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3:47 E.S.T.
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars One of the most succesful Canadian Pop/Rock bands, Toronto-based Klaatu started in 1973 as a studio duo of multi-instrumentalists John Woloschuck and Dee Long with a couple of singles released on GTR Records.The duo soon recruited drummer/vocalist Terry Draper and Klaatu signed a deal with Daffodil Records and its president Frank Davies.A couple of singles followed before they enter the studio to record their debut ''3:47 E.S.T.'' with the help of Rush'es producer Terry Brown.This was eventually released in August 1976.

The fact that no musicians were credited in the original vinyl release made people believe that Klaatu were The Beatles under a fake name, which time prooved to be totally untrue.Except for the opening and closing tracks the whole debut of Klaatu is filled with easy-listening Pop/Art Rock tunes with an intense Beatles-que vibe at moments, especially in the Psych/Pop approach of ''Sub-Rosa Subway'', which led to the aforementioned misunderstanding.From simple rockers to Orchestral Pop flavors and from Art Pop ballads to catchy tunes, most of the tracks are following the easy, commercial path of Rock music with an intense psychedelic nature of the 60's.Well-crafted but too simplistic musicianship with no particular surprises.The closing and opening cuts though are more demanding but not equally good.''Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft'' is a very nice piece of Orchestral Proto-Prog with obvious THE MOODY BLUES and PROCOL HARUM overtones, delivering a soft but lovely atmosphere and offering some good keyboard/Mellotron work by Woloschuck and Long.''Little Neutrino'' is decent but way too long for its own good.It reminds me of the early ANTHONY PHILLIPS albums.Distorted vocals supported by a dramatic keyboard tune and passionate acoustic guitars lead the track from its opening to its closing second with no particular changes, which unfortunately transforms it from nice to decent.

A good debut for anyone wanting to taste some easy-going Psych/Pop/Rock music with a late- 60's feeling, ranging from THE BEATLES' to PROCOL HARUM's works, but rather simplistic and flat for the average proghead...2.5 stars.

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 3:47 E.S.T. by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 94 ratings

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3:47 E.S.T.
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars Does this album really have such good ratings on a prog site? That makes me wonder, because I found this BOTH non-proggy AND mostly terribly bad and irritating late 60's style pop/rock in the vein of Beatles, with some 10CC or SPARKS-like twist. (I'm using the word bad subjectively: these guys are technically very skilful musicians.) The best song is obviously the scifi-themed opener 'Calling Occupants' which was some years later made famous by The Carpenters (and it suits pretty well for them), and the only truly progressive one is the closer 'Little Neutrino'. The shortish songs in between didn't manage to make any other impression on me than frustration. So, two stars from me. Luckily the other album (Hope) that I know is much better and also notably more progressive.

The rumours of this Canadian band being actually Beatles still shapes the way Klaatu is remembered today. The liner notes on the double edition CD including this album and Hope (1977) list many details (titles, cover art, etc) that could be seen as a connection to the Beatles. The writer of the text is so lured by the story that actually he says next to nothing about the music itself. Maybe something similar happened at the time of release...

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 Hope by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 122 ratings

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Hope
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars I did mention in my review of 3:47 E.S.T. that Klaatu made quite a few improvements over their debut on Hope but I forgot to say that those changes made it into one of prog rock essential masterpieces!

It's actually quite interesting how much this album has divided the opinion between progressive rock fans and the mainstream audiences that Klaatu had acquired after the release of their debut album. Maybe it's because most listeners expected the followup album to be more of the same while the band went the ambitious route of creating a concept album and incorporating a symphonic orchestra into the arrangements. The musical approach to Hope might be seen as a continuation of Days Of Future Passed, released a decade after the ground breaking 1967 record's glory days. It's really quite a pity that the audiences attention to these type of ambitious projects began to fade in this new age of punk music revolution since Hope is quite the masterpiece in its own right.

It doesn't really matter if you find the concept aspect of the music appealing since it's the music that does most of the talking here and there are quite a few highlights to pick from! The album starts with another quirky flirt with the Beatles sound on We're Off You Know, but that's pretty much all that we get of this previously well established approach. Madman is where we get introduced to the symphonic direction that Klaatu was aiming for with Hope and even if those results can be considered a bit shaky by some, Around The Universe In 80 Days is where they deliver the goods. This is one of the many wonderful symphonic ballads that make up the bulk of this concept album and if you're like me then this would pretty much be the definition of essential masterpiece right here!

Long Live Politzania is the longest composition here and it might feel a bit alienating at first, due to the different section that the music goes through leading up to the anthem-like conclusion, just give it time and it will grow on you. Side two is my favorite of the two since this is where we get the sad and beautiful epilogue to the story and compositions like The Loneliest Of Creatures and So Said The Lighthouse Keeper really make it a pompous journey there. Everything culminates with the title track, which wasn't originally a huge favorite of mine but the repeated listens managed to solve this minor problem.

Hope is pretty much a perfect concept album that got the unfair treatment due to the fact that it was released at the time when prog music was pretty much out of the picture for most people and so not many have had the chance to experience this magical release. Luckily it's magnitude has not been lost in time and it still remains a great piece of symphonic prog music that I strongly recommend to everyone who cares to listen!

***** star songs: We're Off You Know (4:02) Around The Universe In 80 Days (5:00) The Loneliest Of Creatures (3:45) So Said The Lighthouse Keeper (5:51) Hope (4:44)

**** star songs: Madman (2:39) Long Live Politzania (9:12) Prelude (5:45)

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 3:47 E.S.T. by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 94 ratings

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3:47 E.S.T.
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars I consider myself a prolific progressive rock fan who has already covered most of the classic years material and am now looking forward at the movement's future. With that in mind, I was quite surprised when a colleague at work asked if I knew a little '70s act called Klaatu. After a quick search on ProgArchives it turned out that Klaatu had indeed somewhat of a following, especially their second album Hope which seemed to stand up as their masterpiece.

Since I found the 1999 two album compilation called Two Classic Albums From Klaatu on Spotify, that featured Klaatu's two first albums, I decided to hear them in the chronological order. 3:47 E.S.T. starts off with the gorgeous ballad titled Calling Occupant Of Interplanetary Craft and it's quite understandable why most people associate Klaatu (or The Carpenters) with this composition. California Jam and Sub Rosa Subway prolong my enjoyment for a few more minutes until we finally dive into the sea of completely forgettable material. It's not that songs like True Life Hero or Doctor Marvello are hideous in any way and a few more spins made me discover some of their charm. Unfortunately the album as a whole doesn't manage to hold together all that well due to constant shifts between the Beatles sounding compositions to pure rock & roll numbers. It's clear that Klaatu still haven't found this style on 3:47 E.S.T., luckily it wasn't long until they actually did!

Even though I can't feel sorry for the fact that Klaatu arrived too late to a scene that was flourishing in the early '70s and that was almost completely dead by 1976, their debut has a few great tracks that most fans of the '70s sound will enjoy. Still, it's really no use to pity such a great act, especially considering how well they managed to bounce back with their followup release!

***** star songs: Calling Occupant Of Interplanetary Craft (7:14)

**** star songs: California Jam (3:01) Sub Rosa Subway (4:36) Little Neutrino (8:25)

*** star songs: Anus Of Uranus (3:16) True Life Hero (3:25) Doctor Marvello (3:37) Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III (3:22)

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 Magentalane by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.63 | 33 ratings

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Magentalane
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by herpderp

5 stars Trust a bunch of prog-addled nerds to dislike this album. Anyone giving it a low score approached it with the completely wrong mindset. The strength of this band was always the way they managed to marry the pop sensibilities of the Beatles to the spacey leanings of ELO and the absolute perfect example of that can be found in the very first track of this album. Magentalane is a lot more Beatles than some of their previous albums but it's also their best album. If I had reviewed this album after a single listen, I might have given it four stars, because I recall that there were originally one or two places that I thought sounded uninspired. But after having become familiar with the band and having listened to their work many more times since then, I've come to think of this as a near-perfect album. There are weaknesses, but it was a human band, not a Politzanian one.

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 3:47 E.S.T. by KLAATU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 94 ratings

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3:47 E.S.T.
Klaatu Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Who is Klaatu?

Klaatu are a strange band who encompass a range of styles and cannot work out what type of band they want to be. "3:47 EST" is a peculiar oddity from Klaatu that really is a mixed bag of styles that range from utterly brilliant to utterly dull.

It begins with the absolutely awesome calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, that we may have heard covered by The Carpenters. I prefer their sunshine vocals with all the effects; the DJ addressing the chilling whispering aliens on the radio was an inspiration that jolted me as a teenager. This original version is still very good with excellent harmonies and creative time sigs and melodies. It is the best thing on the album by a mile.

California Jam is a terrible 70s flower power thing with harmonies sounding like early Sweet or the worst of the bubblegum pop scene of the 70s.

Anus of Uranus has an infectious little riff driving it. The vocals are subdued and thin, but there is a tough guitar motif. It becomes a little repetitive and tedious after a while. No variation in style or melody really, and in need of a makeover. The lead solo is Ok but nothing special.

Sub Rosa Subway is an upbeat track, with Beatles like vocals, a strong melody and harmonies. It is a bit corny with the brass section and rather sugar sweet harmonies and silly lyrics.

True Life Hero has a tough riff and some very cool vocals. One of the highlights of the album, it pulses along a strong riff and defined vocals. The instrumental break is just plain weird, with strange time sig and odd blend of keys and guitars. This one grows on you on every listen.

Doctor Marvello may be one of the reasons people were of the opinion that the band were the Beatles in secret. This one sounds like John Lennon's vocals even featuring the sitar and quirky lyrics; "and now we're fine". The harmonies are Beatles like as are the brass embellishments. It even has the Strawberry Fields flute sounds; a real psychedelic oddity and another highlight.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby 3 is a strange title for a track but it is actually an innovative ditty with quirky music and old style raspy vocals, sounding more carnivalesque than anything on the album. Think Mack the Knife in a carnival atmosphere and you might be close. It is a real fish out of water here, quite Monty Pythonesque and OK for a first listen, but not one I like to return to. Skip to:

Little Neutrino is the longest track beginning with creepy alien sounds, and continues gently with very soft keyboard sounds and wind howling effects. The synth melody is OK, but it is the bizarre robotic vocals that jolt on this one. It sounds like Stephen Hawkings singing. It ends the album on a relatively sombre note, once again completely different sound than anything else on the album and too long for its own good.

In conclusion, this is a wildly experimental album and features some innovative moments that are hampered by dull spots and simply silly ideas. It is worth a listen for at least 4 great tracks so deserves at least 3 stars.

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