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Supertramp - Even In The Quietest Moments ... CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.98 | 625 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars The similarities to magnum opus Crime of The Century are of course noteworthy on this fifth album from Supertramp, given the strong identity and characteristic sound of the band and the Hodgson-Davies duo.

But with that in mind, the '77 edition of Supertramp have taken a few sidesteps from that acclaimed effort. While I still recognise the lean, at first glance innocent and carefree panache superimposed on every song, I miss the defining edge and hunger of Crime Of The Century. All that anger and frustration resonated so well with the lighter musical themes, quirky tweaks and perfect mastery of accentuating orchestral arrangements. On most of the songs here on Even In The Quietest Moments, only the basal ingredients remain, making the experience hollow and lacking in profundity.

So it's a step back. Songs like the hit-single Give A Little bit, with lush guitars in a sweet melody and a lyrical hook that is repeated ad nauseam never really affects you as a listener, being just slightly too sugary and eager to please. Where COTC in general is a bleak cry for help, EITQM is a sunshine-story; inconsequential and flimsy. Loverboy stands a little taller, in having some instrumental muscle, but the composition and progression is once again disappointing with its linearity. Downstream and from now on is much in the same vein, benefiting from the same strengths and suffering from the same weaknesses, sax solos and nice piano aside; they are fleetingly pleasing - especially as relaxing background music - but fail to engage.

They all have two important redeeming features though - they're never done without heart, and you can feel that this is an active choice of direction towards poppier music that will 'culminate' on the popular Breakfast In America.

The three songs that are left are all what I'd call classic Supertramp, and as such highly enjoyable. Crisp and mellow guitar beauty with soaring background organ and some great bass work in a discreet but effective build-up create a rich and warm track that surprises as being so powerful in spite of what it should be.

Babaji is just extremely catchy, revolving around and about a couple of motifs that are impossible to dislike, even with the reflective nature of the song. Great group effort that gives the arrangement quite a punch, clinging to that restlessly wandering bass. First track that gives me the same feelings of restrained panic as some on COTC, even though it doesn't deal with the same sorts of lyrics.

And then we have Fool's Overture. A welcome return to the orchestral grandeur and arguably Hodgson's crowning achievement as a composer, this mini epic moves through many a notion after the great melancholic piano part that serves as its humble beginnings. Interesting blend of some sturdy electronic sounds from the synthesisers and more classically oriented sounds make for a defining song of the late part of the '70s. Traces of Rudy (oh.and Dreamer) can be found for the attentive, and Hodgson's vocals are nothing short of spectacular.

So it's a mixed album, not guaranteed to really please those who expect Crime Of The Century, but neither those who expect Breakfast In America funnily enough. But I don't expect it to truly disappoint a fan of aforementioned albums either.

3 stars.


LinusW | 3/5 |


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