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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis? CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.58 | 440 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Somehow this ended up being my only Supertramp album. The only other one I may well acquire is the superior "Crime of the Century". But even there, the seeds of some of pop music's most irritating songs ever were already being sown, notably in "Dreamer", but many more would follow. "Crisis What Crisis" manages to avoid any outright violations, but also does not really contain a great song, just a few good ones and just as many duds.

One of Supertramp's modes of operating was to take a pleasant hook and run through 2 or 3 minutes of pretty catchy appealing music before deciding to perform a scat version of the song for the final 2 or 3 minutes, or at least drag it out immeasurably. "Sister Moonshine", a pretty decent tune, treads dangerously close to this territory, but "Lady" positively wallows in it. If you want to hear this approach done right, try some of the early works of British folk rock pioneers Lindisfarne. Another characteristic was the whiny vocals that desperately, almost excruciatingly, tried to sound earnest, but instead came across as very wimpily limpid, like the guy who might get sand kicked in his face at the beach, maybe like any of the guys in the beach photo on the back of the LP, that I just noticed after I thought of this analogy. "Soapbox Opera" is the poster boy for this style, and its juxtaposition of "sinner" with "winner" is lame even by Supertramp standards. "The Meaning" is insistently unlistenable, while "Poor Boy" and "Just a Normal Day" are both faceless ballads.

Even when they try to sound rough n ready, as in "Aint Nobody But Me", it sounds more like bravado after the fact, and the lyrics are even more feeble. Nonetheless "Another Man's Woman", which is lyrically and musically adept and avoids pretty much all the weaknesses prevalent elsewhere, features a great fade out ending that rivals that of the title track to "Crime". While "Easy Does It" and the closer "Two of Us" are not exactly free from problems, at least their melodies are strong enough to carry them through.

Crisis What Crisis is almost a forgotten Supertramp album in that it lacks the bite of Crime and the mass appeal of what followed it, but it is an identity crisis album that reveals clues to their transition from a pretty decent if precious rock band to one of the most highly rated commercial pop groups amongst those suffering from a clear crisis of musical faith.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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