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




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1818 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars What a fun and charming album! I need to journey on the lighter side of prog once in a while, and I can scarcely find a better album to lead me there than In the Land of Grey and Pink. Of course, there is plenty of serious musicianship and quality compositions to be found as well, otherwise it would be just more bubble-gum pop. Therein lies the real appeal of this album: the ability to incorporate goofy lyrics and playful tunes with relatively full compositions and entertaining individual performances. Don't get me wrong--I don't believe any of these guys would qualify as virtuosos, but by this time in their careers they had coalesced into a very tight band.

Golf Girl, Love to Love You, In the Land of Grey and Pink. These are the poppy tunes that may have the effect of turning off overly serious proggers. They did for me as well for quite some time, until I got past the lyrics and listened to the tasteful playing, most notably from Sinclair on keys and Caughlin on drums. From flirting on the golf course to picking and smoking punkweed, these are all very playful and fun, with Love to Love You probably being the lowest point on the album.

Winter Wine, Nine Feet Underground. If the entire album was like the above pop-oriented tunes, I would lose interest quickly, but the two extended pieces provide an excellent balance of composition and tight playing. Winter Wine is a wonderfully nostalgic song, full of excellent drum fills and shimmering organ, all to a longing melody. The highlight of the album is Nine Feet Underground, which is basically a series of catchy melodies (only two with vocals) that segue reasonably well into each other. The piece works largely because the melodies are diverse and catchy enough, with plenty of tight playing by Caravan. It feels cohesive to my ears because it starts with an irresistably bright tune that extends for over five minutes and concludes by saving the best for last--a quite surprisingly guitar-driven rocker. I didn't know Caravan had it in them! If you like tasteful jamming, full of great interplay between fuzz organ and piano, well-supported by an energetic rhythm section, you can't do much better than this jazzy epic.

Just look at the trippy cover and allow yourself to be immersed in the happy escape, unencumbered by the troubles of the world, that Caravan has made with seemingly to little effort and so much fun. Then you will appreciate this high point of one of Canterbury's signature acts.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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