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If - If 2 CD (album) cover

IF 2

If

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 67 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Coming in an impressive gatefold psych cover (this album like most of their earlier albums received different artworks and sometimes names, rendering their discography difficult to find your way through), If's second album is certainly their crowning achievement of sorts, but I personally prefer their debut. With an unchanged line-up, but a few tours (including US tour with Black Sabbath and Rod Stewart), they even recorded this album in NY, with Morrissey and Quincy again taking the lion's share of the songwriting to them.

Opening up on the soulful Your City Is Falling, the track's best moments are the excellents drum breaks around the end of the track. The following Sunday Sad starts on a pastoral electric Spanish-sounding guitar mixed with a quiet flute, soon joined by Hodgkinson's soulful vocals, but Smith's psych guitar solo takes the show, excellently underlined by the pulsing and flamencoing bass of Richardson. Lonesome Nymphomaniac (a rare Mealing composition) is not my fave on this album, partly because it's a bit messy in the recording, most notably the very shallow space allotted for most of the instruments in the stereo space.

The flipside starts on the lengthy Motown-like track, but soon digresses into a series of excellent solos, including an epic guitar solo. Fellow British jazzer writes the next Shadows And Echoes, where after a full-fledged jazz tour of the group, the guitar gets very jazzy this time around. The closing Song For Elsa is much more of a Colosseum track than most of the rest of the album, with the two saxes again pulling a Heckstallian trick every now and then.

The Repertoire mini-Lp reissue is a little beauty but didn't add any bonus material (no single taken from this album, unlike for the debut and their third), thus leaving a rather short disc. Nevertheless this album is yet another classic brass rock album that deserves 100 times more its inclusion in the PA, rather than those bloody sweaty tearful excuses for albums.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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