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Arcadium - Breathe Awhile CD (album) cover

BREATHE AWHILE

Arcadium

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.76 | 71 ratings

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ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Arcadium were one of those underdogs, who never managed to dive out of the London underground. Playing alongside acts such as Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Egg, Gun, Spooky Tooth or The Writing On The Wall never brought them the true recognition they deserved. However, to their luck, they did not find it exceptionally hard to sign a record contract. With a little help from the acclaimed Middle Earth club, they signed a contract with Pye label. To enable them to polish their material, the club rented a manor in Cambridge, where they could rehearse. After a week, the band moved to the recording studios on Chandos Street. That's where "Breathe Awhile", Arcadium's only album was recorded. The album art was designed by Mike McInnerney, who had just finnished working on The Who's "Tommy" cover.

"Breathe Awhile" is a testimony for ending psychedelic trends in music. Psychedelia was still very much present, but lacked the creativity, mysticism and freshness it once was full of. Without knowing what it was at the time, Arcadium picked the "progressive" path. The main attraction of this work are incredibly passionate jams based strongly on modal improvisation. On sung parts, the band exposes their electric folk aspirations. Arcadium's music is characterised by poweful pastoral organ playing, fuzzy guitar, feminine 12-string guitar passages and very decent vocals.

The two longest tracks "Birth, Life and Death" and "I'm On My Way" are in my opinion the strongest on the album. Other tracks are not bad by any means, but feel a bit unfulfilling. However, that is saved by the passion, vigour and sensitivity resounding on this work. And this I consider a very valuable aspect of "Breathe Awhile".

Overall, Arcadium's only album is a strong effort, musically very typical of obscure bands at the turn of psychedelia and progressive rock. It features some excellent moments and will be a pleasing experience to those fascinated with proto-prog or psychedelic rock. 8/10, Recommended!

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |

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