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Henry Cow - In Praise Of Learning CD (album) cover


Henry Cow



3.96 | 173 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Warning: This review is written by someone whose mind is most likely controlled by an alien who is secretly in love with Chris Cutler and Fred Frith simultaneously.

This possibly could be my favorite album of all time. I'm not entirely sure, but it doesn't really matter. This album is the definition of amazing.

1. War- Perfect song. Perfect vocals. Perfect instrumentation. I love this song to death and I could listen to it repeatedly for hours and hours. It may only be two and a half minutes, but it certainly is well-composed, features wonderful expressions, and covers quite a bit of ground despite its relatively basic structure (for Henry Cow's standards). Flawless. 10+/10

2. Living in the Heart of the Beast- How can you follow the succinct brilliance of War? Only with this song. Repeat everything I said for War except substitute it here. Dagmar's vocals are to die for, proving why she is my favorite vocalist, singing with intense amounts of emotion and clarity. All the instruments and structure on this song are perfect. It is easily as good as War except 15 minutes. You can constantly feel all of the emotions in the song, madness, intensity, persistence. Flawless. 10+/10

3. Beginning: The Long March- Brilliance once more. To have either of the first two songs ever recorded is stunning enough, but to have the third song in addition to BOTH of those be just as brilliant? Amazing. This track is more avant and atmospheric (in a Henry Cow sort of way) than the previous two, but it works very effectively. It certainly isn't your typical march. 10/10

4. Beautiful as the Moon--Terrible as an Army with Banners- Wow, this track is masterpiece status once again. The piano here is perfectly composed and all of the instruments are again in top performance. Dagmar's vocals shine as always. This is one hell of a piano track; I would love to see it performed. So beautiful and full of goosebump moments much like the three tracks before it. My favorite part is at about 5 minutes where you have what I like to call the falling piano portion. Simply must be heard. Flawless. 10+/10

5. Morning Star- More similar to the structure of the Long March here, except still entirely unique. This one is seemingly much more unstructured and avant-garde and may prove to be inaccessible to many ears, but persistence may be required for unlocking true beauty with this one. This song is no less brilliantly structured than any song before it. Cutler's performance, since I haven't mentioned him specifically yet, is of importance particularly in this song. All of the instrumentalists are perfect, once again. 10/10

6. Lovers of Gold- Wonderful closer. What more can I say about this song that I haven't already said about the ones before it? Amazing structure, instruments, vocals, content... all of these songs are, to say the least, crafted with perfection. The more distant, enigmatic atmosphere of this one is a great way to end this album. 10/10

Never have I heard such a radiant combination of instrumentation, song-writing, emotion, intellect, everything that makes each song unique and full of true magic. If you have not heard it, grant your ears the gift immediately. This album gets my highest recommendation of anything I could write.

11/10: Beyond masterpiece album. GET IT.

MovingPictures07 | 5/5 |


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