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Eela Craig - Hats of Glass CD (album) cover


Eela Craig


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.43 | 40 ratings

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3 stars From an artistic point of view ''One niter'' was a milestone for Eela Craig and heading to a third album they decided to add a lead singer in the core, who would be Will Orthofer.Rest of the crew and new singer started the sessions in August 77' and the album was ready by November, titled ''Hats of glass'', highlighted by its futuristic front cover and released on Vertigo.Co-producer Ulli Ruetzel was the man, who established the Erdenklang label, with which Hubert Bognermayr & Harald Zuschrader collaborated a few years later, while the second co-producer Chris Evans appears to be the same person involved in the Chris Evans & David Hanselmann duo.

There is no doubt about the direction the band was choosing at the time, when the opening cut is Chris De Burgh's ''A spaceman came travelling'' from ''Spanish train and other stories'', definitely a nice cover of lyrical and dreamy Symphonic Pop.But the rest of the album would follow the same vein, albeit with a more Teutonic, spacious edge due to the heavy use of synthesizers.Gone are the discreet Fusion edges of the previous album and with ''Hats of glass'' Eela Craig would stick with a 100% symphonic, laid-back sound.The soft lyrical parts remind me of very early KING CRIMSON, combined with the smooth symphonic plays of BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST.All vocals are in English lyrics and, despite the presence of three keyboardists, the music is always gentle, performed in elaborate orchestrations with sensitive vocals and Classical colors, based mainly on light synthesizers and electric piano.There is still some PINK FLOYD influence in certain tracks (''Chances are) with a slight psychedelic touch, but the arrangements are always full of grandiose synth-drenched soundscapes with mellow electric guitars supporting.''Holstenwall fair'' would offer the most organ-flavored composition of the album with the rhythmic tunes and the more pronounced electric guitars reminding of the links to the Kraut/Symphonic genre.On the other hand the dynamics of a trully succesful album are rather absent and the multi-vocal parts sound quite cheesy at moments.

The band had fully transformed from the Kraut/PsychJazz Rock act it was back in early-70's to an orchestral Symphonic Pop/Rock ensemble.Soft Symphonic Rock is what you get with ''Hats of glass''.Good album for fans of the genre, a bit too sweet for fans of the more complicated and intricate prog releases.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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