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Paladin - Charge! CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.46 | 65 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I do love my jazz-rock. It is fantastic and it fills me with much joy. Always have. The fusion of jazz and rock is very much a match made in heaven. The grittiness and intensity of rock and the feeling and musical excurions of jazz is just perfect. Many a band have proven this to be true. Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears are perhaps the prime examples but there are others (Chase, Centipede, CCS and several more) aswell. Paladin is one of these bands, lurking in the more obscure marshlands of prog.

The album is beautifully made by the master of progressive album art, Roger Dean. Someone wrote, very much to the point, that his art is not a certified mark of musical quality. And that is true. In the case of Charge it is very true.

The music bears resemblance to many of the classic bands of the early batch of jazz-rock and hard rock bands of the 70's. Uriah Heep, Beatles (though barely making it into the 70's), CCS and others in that vein are all noticeable here. It must be said, however, that in their finest moments Paladin puts forth a slab of jazz-rock very much in their own flavor.

The opener, "Give me your hand", is a terrific song. Intense, heavy on the percussion and drums and very raucious. (The presence of vocals put through the Leslie speaker makes it even better.) Great song that really sets the pace, or so one is lead to believe anyway.

The second track really is a letdown for me. Uriah Heep, which is a great band, always spiced up their albums with lacklustre rock'n'roll songs and this track sounds just like on of those. The Mick Box-ish slide guitar and all. Really nothing to write home about.

"Get one together" is a hammond drenched, groovy little thing which again raises the album to great heights, only to drop to something rather boring in "Good lord". The song feels like The Beatles changed their name to Paladin and that does not work for me. Bands trying to sound like Beatles disappoints me. Though the song is well written I feel it does not do much for me.

"Mix your mind with the moonbeams" is a rather good track, showing more personality of their own. It is a jazzy, gospel-influenced rock track which works alright. The last track, "Watching the world pass by" is a great song to end it all with. A ballad-y, slower and mellow number with good organ.

Charge is really nothing to cross the desert for. There are so many other bands worthy of discovery. In truth Charge is a disappointing album. The signs of greatness are taken down to be replace by cheap ones, showing the easy way out and not being truly a band in their own right. I feel they are too much in awe and inspired by other bands, such as Beatles and actually Uriah Heep (which is sort of fun, actually). Two stars. That's it.

GruvanDahlman | 2/5 |


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