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Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1821 ratings

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5 stars With the perfect mix of psychedelia, cleverness, composition, and improvisation, "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is the watershed album for the whole Canterbury movement. A fun, flowing work, its approach was all too seldom followed, even by Caravan itself and, truth be told, there isn't really another album from the scene that I can wholly endorse. So this may be more representative of how I wish Canterbury would be than what it actually was.

While the lyrics are occasionally smug and twee as typical for bands of this ilk, they also contain succinct philosophical statements, especially in "Winter Wine", the album's best song. In this beautiful piece, as well as throughout the album, the playing and arrangements more than compensate for any untoward silliness. Even "Golf Girl" and "Love to Love You" are simply too jaunty to be dismissed, while the title cut features great rhythms on acoustic guitar and wind playing by Jimmy Hastings. As for "Nine Feet Underground", the sheer melodic inventiveness and versatility of the band are consistently engaging. It is here that David Sinclair gets to shine on organ, trading off with Pye Hastings' lead guitar excursions and Jimmy Hastings' sax. The support of the two Richards on bass and drums is noteworthy without being obtrusive. The transitions between segments add to the sense that everything has been well thought out and constructed.

This is an album that can be respected and loved far beyond the confines of the Canterbury scene, and not just in some fantasy land of grey and pink. Essential in any prog rock library.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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