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Ozric Tentacles - Lotus Unfolding CD (album) cover

LOTUS UNFOLDING

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.21 | 66 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars Ed Wynne has chosen to revive the "Ozric" name--with the help of his family and some friends--for this, their 16th studio album release, and I have to concur with the other early reviewers: this may be one of their best albums ever-- certainly top five!

1. "Storm in a Teacup" (9:37) a song that captures all of the instrumentalists (and programs) contributing equally and fully to the break-neck rush-forward race down the highway that it presents, start to near-finish. Definitely my favorite song on the album. (18.75/20)

2. "Deep Blue Shade" (5:09) another perfectly balanced Ozric soundscape that conjures (and calls) up all of the best of everything this band has ever done and yet is uniquely its own song. The bass, synths, and percussion play really stand out for me. Like the album's opener, this song makes me want to dance! (9/10)

3. "Lotus Unfolding" (8:13) calm, floating music that conjures up dreams or meditations of exotic jungle scenery. Saskia Maxwell's beautiful ethereal flute is the lead instrument for the first three minutes. In the fourth minute drums, bass, and keys kick in, giving the beautiful music some flow, while the flute comes back sounding a bit distant due to its place within the mix. Great bass line from Brandi Wynne and easy going, yet impressive drums from Tim Wallander lead to a heavier section with Ed's electric guitar searing in the lead. With a few gentle stop-and-starts the synths join in as the flute returns to counter the guitars and synth. Beautiful song. My second top three. (14/15)

4. "Crumplepenny" (9:55) quirky-wonky synth percussives woven together open this song for a long and prolonged stop-and-start intro. In the third minute acoustic steel-string guitar announces itself as the lead instrument while the band continues its little game of hide and seek--trying to decide whether or not to congeal into an united force. Finally they do: in an awesome driving motif. Guitars, drums, synth programs are all great but the rapid-fire, single-note bass line is the driving force behind it all. In the middle we enter a star-ceilinged cave of mystical awe in which everyone just stops, drops their jaws, and looks around them for a bit. When the band kicks back in, it's with a totally new motif, vocoder syllables thrown into the soup with everybody else. Great percussion work from Paul Hankin as well as awesome synth lines and acoustic guitar play. The song then comes to a close as it started: with quirk and indecision-- despite the acoustic guitar's attempt at leadership. Very cool and unusual song--even for the Ozrics! My other top three song. (18.25/20)

5. "Green Incantation" (7:38) with its funky bass, stop-and-go and play, and lead acoustic 12-string guitar, this one sounds like something from a STEVE TIBBETTS or DIF JUZ album. Great start. Wonderful engineering while somehow keeping a 1970s rock sound at the foundation despite the typical Ozrics pixie synth play (courtesy of Silas Wynne?). "Normal" electric guitar takes the lead in the seventh and eighth minutes. (13.375/15)

6. "Burundi Spaceport" (5:08) heavily-effected guitar solos over a steadily-rolled bass note as incidental synth and hand percussives play into a texturized background. In the third minute the full band finally comes together-- consolidates into a kind of Calypso foundation over which a distant multi-dimensional being (effected guitar) snorts and flies around as if some kind of elusive Chinese dragon flitting around the river canyon (8.75/10)

Total Time 45:40

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music. Come on everybody, get on board: Welcome back the Ozrics!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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