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Kevin Ayers - Sweet Deceiver CD (album) cover


Kevin Ayers


Canterbury Scene

2.85 | 30 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars SWEET DECEIVER contains some of Kevin Ayers' most delightful songs, as well a number of forgettable ditties.

The cabaret-like "Guru Banana" must be one of the jolliest critiques of 1960s-1970s counterculture ever conceived. As so often with Kevin, the lyrics are fun and highly perceptive, e.g. "Who's the one with the smile on his face / says he's gonna save all the human race / He laughs a lot as he climbs to fame / Now what's his name? / Guru Banana! / Yeah, that's me and I'll show you the light / I know the answers and they're all right / 'cause I'm divine and you could be the same / Now what's my name? / Guru Banana!" Beatles freaks will notice the song is similar in theme to "Sexy Sadie", but with Ayers you can at least sing along - a great advantage!

"Toujours le voyage" is a lush ballad, somewhat similar to the gorgeous title track of WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING. It's one of Kevin's most seductive odes to a beautiful and adorable woman, featuring a first-rate piano solo by no other than Mr. Elton John!

"Once upon an ocean" (about partying on a sinking ship) is a cheerful faux-calypso tune; probably the only Canterbury Scene song that was covered in French by a Flemish singer (Johan Verminnen) in the late 1970s. I wonder if that cover version is still available, but anyway, Verminnen's conventional voice can't hold a candle to Ayers' rich bass...

Finally, "Farewell again" shows you a rather pensive Kevin in samba mood: incredibly charming, and with great acoustic guitar by Ollie Halsall.

The remainder of SWEET DECEIVER may not be first rate, but it's definitely not irritating either. So if you like Kevin, and you happen to come across this album in any shape (it has appeared, I believe, as part of a 2-disc Island collection), snap it up - you won't regret it.

fuxi | 3/5 |


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