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National Health - National Health CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 383 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars National Health - st (1977)

One of those records that make Kahn's Space Shanty sound so good.

Such a strange year (1977) for such and sophisticated prog-record. Well, this is a true Canterbury record with a recognisable sound with certain organ sounds, certain compositional styles, jazz influences and a positive atmosphere. One highlight is the key-playing of Dave Steward (Egg, Kahn and others), one of my favourite Canterbury musicians.

This album is mainly instrumental, except from some passages with beautiful female vocals of Amanda Parsons. Even the vocal parts are highly sophisticated with an abstract (not so emotional) spacey vibe that reminds me a bit of the seriousness of Magma. Though all parts are composed very very intelligent, no part seems to touch me that much. It's just very interesting.

The instrumental passages might be the best of the whole scene, but as mentioned before, the lead to nothing. There seems to be no purpose, no structure and above all: no vision. You could describe this as a soulless masterpiece. It gave me the same feeling as the second Finch album: highly technical an proggy, but never theatrical and touchy.

Conclusion. I will not give the final conclusion for this review. This is not my cup of tea, it lacks an important ingredient. On the other hand it compensates with being one of the most technical records of the scene. Some song like tracks would have made this way more interesting for me, some Kahn like vocals would have really cheered this up. As said, no conclusion here: try this if can get satisfaction out of the pure genius compositions, but stay away if you'll miss some human emotions along the way. For me this is just three stars.

friso | 3/5 |


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