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Can - Soon over Babaluma CD (album) cover





3.69 | 237 ratings

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4 stars This was my first CAN album, and although I liked it superficially, I was in for a big surprise when I got "Tago Mago" next. That is to say, this is actually quite a weird album when you consider the rest of their classic-period releases, and shouldn't be lumped in with the rest without a few words of caution (and ultimately, praise). First off, singer Damo Suzuki is gone, and while this shouldn't have changed things too much considering CAN's instrumental nature, things have quite obviously changed! The opening track "Dizzy Dizzy" has an almost reggae-like vibe, and the second song has a weird Latin (or something, you tell me) thing going on. Later in CAN's career we get to see all sorts of quazi-"ethnic" explorations (for better or worse), and it all begins most clearly on this album. So, if you are like I was at one point and just want Tago Mago's in-your-face psychedelic romps over and over again... nope! However, as time went on and I began to sink more deeply into an appreciation of CAN's subtler side (Future Days: best album ever), I revisited Soon Over Babaluma to discover a world of minimalist perfection and icy, alien beauty. Side 2, in particular, is a masterpiece of otherworldy music. "Chain Reaction" and "Quantum Physics" form what is in essence one piece: the first song is the "explicit" half, carried by a steady kick-drum pulse with choppy electronics and blistering guitar solos covering every inch, which all then suddenly drop away to reveal "Quantum Physics," a chilled, shimmering atmosphere of ambient sounds and subtle rhythms, all never departing from the (now implied) core tempo. When the whole thing hits you under the proper circumstances, it's nothing short of musical revelation. The first two tracks are perfect in a lazy, quirky manner, and "Splash" is a delectable CAN jam with breezy keyboard washes and great guitar soloing. Essential music! There is a distinct mood which I have learned to recognize as the "Babaluma mood," and when that moment comes, nothing short of this album (or the few "Babalumas" recorded by other bands) will do.. if you know what I mean...
corbet | 4/5 |


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