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Caravan - In the Land of Grey and Pink CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1818 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I can't really make myself give this album a high rating.

I remember when it arrived, for I was actually pretty excited about it. The album art was definitely interesting, and the track listing was pretty interesting. I was especially curious about the title track and the epic at the end. And it was my first introduction to the 'Canterbury Scene'.

I put it in, and Golf Girl immediately underwhelmed me. Wasn't this Caravan, one of the pre-eminent Canterbury bands? Wasn't this In the Land of the Gray and Pink, their biggest album? The one that I have heard called "the definitive Canterbury" album? My reactions pretty much matched that straight through the album.

I realised that I had been fooled! This was no masterpiece at all! That, or I was missing something. So I gave myself some time, then listened to it again. And, listening to it, expecting a not-masterpiece, I found the music to actually be enjoyable.

After a few listens, I felt that I had reached a point where I understood the album. For sure, it wasn't about the same thing that I thought of other prog rock as being about. What we had here was five songs of varying quality that were each fun in their own way, and that sort of worked well together.

I stopped listening to it for a while, and then recently started listening to it after a long break. And my initial reaction hasn't really changed, except that I now know that my appreciation for the music probably isn't going to grow with time (or else, it will take more time). This album is fun but it is not amazing. A masterpiece? This album does not come close to the majesty of other albums that deserve that title.

Golf Girl and Love to Love You are both fun, catchy tunes, but not really much more. Winter Wine and In The Land of the Gray and Pink are similar, but I tend to think of them as more acoustic based songs. The title track itself is actually pretty good, and perhaps one of the more enduring songs off the album.

If I had heard the first four songs without knowing that the fifth was an epic, I never would have expected it to be an epic, but an epic we have, and it is mostly instrumental. Overall, I'd actually rate it pretty low on the epic scale. It's got some good music in it, but it doesn't ever really feel like it's going anywhere to me, and there aren't a lot of moments that give me a huge emotional boost. Even the musicians don't seem to be virtuoso's, so when I'm bored by it, I can't listen to it and think, "Man, that must have been hard to do." So while it is pleasant and listenable, it definitely does not rank high.

I'll end by saying that this album ranks as three stars, but as far as three star albums go, there are better you can get. But if you are looking for laid back, fun music that carries the label 'prog', this is a good album to have on hand. Unexciting, but still alright.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |


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