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Snowball - Cold Heat CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.52 | 12 ratings

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2 stars Groovy? Yes. Jazz? Debatable.

Cold Heat is the last album from the Snowball supergroup formed by several wonderful musicians from other bands, like Embryo, Passport, and Nektar. They showed wonderful promise on their first effort, Defroster in '77, although not exactly as prolific as the albums from the bands the members originated from it was not that bad. Now 1977 was already approaching the fringe for the 80's invasion, so that band was to either take the neo-prog revitalization path, or fall, like so many others, down the rabbit hole of the upcoming decade's pop music.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and Snowball took the path that would come to be so utterly beaten that it would become an annoyance. Their second album, Cold Heat, was released in 1979, the dawn of a new era. This time the band really makes themselves seem like a bunch of oxymorons.

Cold Heat turns out to be a balancing act of occasional jazz bursts and cheesy disco-funk that more often than lot swings to the latter. Vocalist Eddie Taylor embodies the archetypal swagger that would become more and more popular as the 80's progressed, almost like a Maurice White without the lovable factor. The few moments where the band breaks into anything remotely jazz-like it's immediately swept away with a sonic cheese onslaught, making for music nothing short of a dishonest. Schultz and Gebauer occasionally throw in echoing buzzes and other effects that does nothing to help the mood. I actually commend Taylor on sax; he's not bad- but he isn't made for jazz. His latin- infused dance style aged extremely poorly and I would go so far as to say that if he was placed in any other kind of musical environment he wouldn't flourish nearly as easily.

So as a verdict: I suggest you either take a look at Snowball's debut or the bands these obviously talented musicians came from. You'll definitely get a bigger bang for your buck.

aglasshouse | 2/5 |


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