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Supertramp - Breakfast In America CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.95 | 713 ratings

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2 stars SUPERTRAMP were made for the charts, the 1970s analog to the ARCHIES or the CUFF LINKS, more sophisticated manifold of course, but essentially a studio band assembled to appeal to the broadest range of music fans through an almost utter domination by piano and its ilk, a faux-jazz brass character, pre-pubescent rhyming lyrics and meters with the type of melodies that you wish you'd forget but can't, and ostensibly earnest upper octave vocals. All things considered, it's rather surprising that they didn't receive their due windfall until "Breakfast in America", but this album does represent the most rarefied implementation of their commercial vision.

None of the above characteristics are sufficient for conviction, and in fact there are several excellent tracks only diminished by overexposure - the title cut and "Take the Long Way Home", while "The Logical Song" goes from brilliant to trite after about 2 airings, never to return, and "Goodbye Stranger" starts with promise before settling for the band's trademark childish vocals and stunted tune that even the best arrangements cannot rescue, and in any case no such compensation is to be found. The remaining tracks got virtually no airplay and yet still sound stale and so much a product of their time. Concomitantly, CHRIS DE BERG was developing a more engaging and lyrically rich mixture along similar lines, with reasonable recognition although nothing of the sort enjoyed by Supertramp.

The closing cut is certainly the most progressive if only by taking track length into account., but it's really little more than an extended version of "Lady" dating back to "Crisis...". Some good piano as it rolls along but nothing exceptional especially for the time.

Neither patently progressive a la "The Wall", unabashedly and convincingly poppy like "Spirits Having Flown" (although the vocal styles are oddly allied), nor risk taking rock in the manner of "Tusk", SUPERTRAMP's best selling meal was a nadir of sorts for the 1970s, and, in spite of its ubiquity, seems to have influenced virtually nobody.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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