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Traffic - When The Eagle Flies CD (album) cover

WHEN THE EAGLE FLIES

Traffic

 

Eclectic Prog

3.22 | 121 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The last exit?

"When the eagle flies" was recorded by Traffic after their creative peak. It has the sound of a band rather going through the motions of making one of several "final" albums. The line up consists of Winwood, Capaldi and Wood, joined by Rosko Gee on bass. Traffic would break up after the promotional tour for the album. All but one of the songs are written by Winwood and Capaldi, the sole exception being the 11 minute "Dream Gerrard", which Steve wrote, with Viv Stanshall (Bonzo's) supplying the lyrics.

After an upbeat opener "Something new" which ironically harks back to the band's early days, we are quickly into the lengthy, relaxed tones of "Dream Gerrard". While the song has a rather disjointed feel, with long jazz based improvisations, there is some glorious mellotron which lifts the piece considerably. Yes, it could have been much better, but after a few listens it does begin to reveal its underlying beauty.

For me, "Walking in the wind" is the best of the bunch. Steve supplies some superb organ on a track which would have fitted in well on the "John Barleycorn" album. The strong melody and fine vocal performance set the song apart on the album, and render it one of the band's finest tracks.

The remaining tracks are rather ordinary, low key affairs, with continuing jazz tinges. The closing title track has some decent organ again, but the meandering melody spoils a decent vocal performance.

In all, a mixed bag of an album, but it does grow with each listen (as a good prog album should). Jim Capaldi's lyrics are worthy of note, as is Steve Winwood's vocal and keyboard contribution. A few stronger melodies, and some more dynamic production and this could have been a fine swansong. The presentation is completed by a sleeve illustration and an embossed cover.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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