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




Crossover Prog

3.58 | 440 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Easy does it...

It's hardly surprising that the follow-up to a massively huge album like Crime Of The Century is not going to be as mind-blowing as it's brother. However, what is unexpected is such a huge shift in style between the two albums. Supertramp has always had two sides: the dark an progressive and the light and pop-ish. A change in style is never a bad thing, but capitalizing on something that is not what made you popular is always a strange thing to do. This album is best seen as a precursor to their later, more radio friendly work (not to say that previous albums weren't radio friendly) - but one that is not quite developed yet.

Story has it that the title emerged from the band's need to follow up on Crime Of The Century, ''Crisis? What crisis?'' they replied. A very different offering from the boys as we knew them up to this point, this album is best described as jumpy. Basically, if you take an upbeat (though mysteriously dark) song from them such as Dreamer and extend it into an entire album you get what we have here. While there are still some very progressive offerings wrought with excellent instrumentation and rising sax along with quick pianos this one, for the most part, is simply a pleasant listen, not a demanding one as their other albums have been.

There are points where the band decide to let loose on the sing-along parts. Case in point the two singles Lady, with it's somewhat annoying ''ooh-la-la-la-la'' even though the beat and pace of the rest of the song more than makes up for its shortcomings, and Sister Moonshine where Roger strains his voice as though to taunt the audience to try and follow him until their voice cracks. There's nothing wrong with these, as Tramp has always excelled at the catchy end of things, and the songs are quite enjoyable for those who like their Tramp poppy.

A couple of high points are to be found on the album as well. The almost aggressive Another Man's Woman with its excellent instrumental ending is more or less what we've come to expect of the band. Davies takes the vocal helm to give it a hard blues feel with the typical Supertramp bop. A Soapbox Opera is another standout, its suspenseful pace leading into a wonderful peak. The two short opening and closing tracks are also worth mentioning, their slow and steady pace along with the delicate melodies make for a nice bookend.

Coming into the end the album lets out a bit. Poor Boy is unfortunately forgettable with a pace that promises something to happen, but never delivers. Just A Normal Day is more or less just a normal track, Davies and Hodgeson trade segments to make for a fairly peaceful and pleasant track. Floaty and airy this is a good one. Fortunately The Meaning is a promising track that opens with some powerful vocals and an excellent bridge whose only draw the the repetition of Hodgeson's line ''Do you know what the meaning is?''. The last minute or so of the song is actually almost ruined by that, actually. Forgivable, however, because there's enough high points for it to come off as very strong track.

This album is definitely good, and quite enjoyable. Those who don't like their Tramp poppy had best be warned, and those who don't like Tramp anyways likely won't be swayed. Nothing completely groundbreaking here, but it is pleasant music which is best enjoyed on a sunny day. 3 stars! Good, but there's other Tramp that has higher priority than this one.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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