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Supertramp - Famous Last Words CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.20 | 344 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Last words indeed

Between two fantastic albums Supertramp put out this effort. Similar in sound to their previous work, Breakfast In America this album offers up lush soundscapes with a good variety of songs to keep attention spans, but something is not right. Clearly, tension within the band was starting to grind on the members as was trying to follow up a number of overly successful previous albums and the band was rapidly searching for inspiration. Which you'd think that the boys would have after 3 years break from their Breakfast, but apparently not. No, instead we have a collection of songs that all miss their mark in some way or another.

Opening with Crazy there's still some signs of life from the band. Moody and well performed this is one of the standouts on the album, even if the repetition of Crazy... at the end of the track is a bit... off. But then it all goes somewhere completely else. Put On Your Old Brown Shoes is a boppy 50s sounding song which simply does not work well. Davies's performance does little to save the track as does the sax solo in the middle. Know Who You Are is a fairly pleasant song which unfortunately doesn't go anywhere and simply meanders around until it ends, although it is saved a bit by Hodgeson's vocals near the end. My Kind Of Lady is kind of in the same vein as the second track (50s boppy) and is once again mostly forgettable.

But at the point of absolute low we have the ''hit'' It's Raining Again . This upbeat and annoying song is the kind of thing that no prog-head will find themselves enjoying unless they really really like the band. Jumpy and pure pop (not the usual dark-pop that the 'Tramp produces so well) this one is especially brought down by the truly irritating end of the song which has a chorus of children repeating ''It's raining, it's pouring'' and so on. A track best skipped.

Now don't be totally fooled, this album has a couple very good songs on it. C'est La Bon offers a decent track with some good melodies by Hodgeson at the chorus, and Bonnie sounds like something from their Crime days with Davies at the vocal helm bringing the song into more dark territories. Waiting So Long is a song coming into the same grounds with it's dark tones and Don't Leave Me Now does the same with some very excellent parts to become the haunting standout of the album.

A potentially good album with a number of flaws. Blame the 80s, but the Tramp really missed a step here. Luckily, their next album would turn out to be utterly fantastic... but Hodgeson would leave after this one, making the band generally less attractive to some. This one is better for fans, who may find a lot of things to like about it as there's many good moments here. However, those who don't feel the need to buy a lot of Supertramp should just avoid this one. 2 stars -- good for fans, not so much for everyone else.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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