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




Canterbury Scene

4.30 | 1819 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I haven't been exposed to enough of the Canterbury Scene genre to really appreciate it. I'm more into symphonic and neo prog, even heavy prog and some prog metal, but I'm willing to try out new genres. I've developed an appreciation for Gong and Robert Wyatt and have become a huge fan of Steve Hillage, but I needed to try out more. And so I sought out what many consider as the pinnacle of the Canterbury Scene genre, Caravan's In the Land of Grey and Pink.

Upon first impressions, I was struck with how nicely put together their shorter songs were. They didn't remind me of anything like the other Canterbury artists I had listened to. Golf Girl is an absolutely wonderful psych-pop number. This should have been a smash hit when this album came out, but as I understand it, Caravan had little or no marketing support from their record company. Winter Wine is also a wonderful number featuring some nice organ work. The title track is also a favorite of mine. I love the bass lines in that song.

Now onto what appears to be the song that raises this album to high accolades, the 22+ minute long Nine Feet Underground. I have to admit that I've listened to this at least a dozen times now and it still hasn't clicked with me. I'm not sure what I was expecting really. It has a "sameness" throughout it that bores me to tears. The guitar solos seem to go on forever and I just don't sense the structure others have attributed to it. Now I know they recorded this in parts and it was pieced together by their producer magnificently, but it just doesn't feel like it actually has separate "parts" like it ought to. I think it would have been better if the band had done the parts as separate numbers and expanded upon them.

This isn't a genre I'm too familiar with, but I'm hoping it will be helpful for those symphonic prog fans out there wondering what the big deal about this album is. It could very well be a big deal for you and click with you (the proof is in the number of reviews and the high rating of this album). I'm one of the minority that can't seem to really get into the so-called epic song that many praise as its crowning achievement. Maybe it will click with me some years from now, but for now, I love the shorter songs that Richard Sinclair sings on. Definitely good and worth three stars, but I can't push myself to give it anything higher.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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