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Golden Earring - Contraband CD (album) cover

CONTRABAND

Golden Earring

 

Prog Related

3.12 | 41 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Mid-seventies were a time when GOLDEN EARRING softened their sound into a mainstream- friendly AOR ("adult-oriented", or as some would interpret this acronym, "arena-oriented rock", if you like). Still, they were occasionally capable of producing strong and memorable songs that showcased their affirmed (and experienced) musicianship.

"Contraband" is largely considered their last "classic" album containing mixture of straightforward but not so original guitar-based heavy rock and subtle doses of progressive arrangements that broke the classic 4 minutes pop-rock song structure. Unfortunately, this LP contains more of the former elements.

Two highlights are surely those having longer instrumental passages and solos. "Mad Love's Coming" with its irresistible guitar-driven repetitive chords and catchy chorus is continuation of "Radar Love" groovy patterns, while "Fightin' Windmills" is the most proggy song on the LP ? a slower, bluesy main theme which later on goes into a section filled with synth strings, emulating for a moment a "Kashmir"-like "eastern" sounds and finally ending with the actual sound of a windmill noise.

What is left is a collection of sub-standard, weak songs that are well played and produced but which ultimately leaves a listener empty and uninterested. With exception of excellent slide guitar solo parts in "Sueleen" courtesy of Eelco Gelling, I presume, the rest of the album does not hold on repeated listening.

I am left wondering whether to give this LP ** or *** stars, but having heard live and somewhat better versions of two best tracks from here, which are included in the double live set from 1977, I can only assess "Contraband" even less worthy to obtain.

PERSONAL RATING: 2,5/5

P.A. RATING: 2/5

Seyo | 2/5 |

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