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Traffic - When The Eagle Flies CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.22 | 121 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars (ninth in a serie of ten)

Traffic's last album spells the end of the group and sadly it ends on a down note. Understandably worn down by the constant touring and some now seven years together, WTEF might have been called When The Swan Flies, for. Back down to a quartet with the three original members (Winwood, Wood & Capaldi) plus Gee on bass, this album sounds uninspired and tame and relatively poorly produced although the sleeve artwork with its special waffled cardboard is fine. Capaldi's lyrics reach a high note in meaningfulness but it is lost in rather tedious tracks and monotonous recording techniques.

The first side of the album has the usual three tracks (it's been a while since A traffic album had more than that), but the opening Something New is indeed that, but the new is no good as we must go back to Last Exit to hear something this poor from traffic. Even the 11-mins Dream Gerard, the best track of the album sounds a little repetitive despite a cool piano over a cool mellotron, it's just too long. The following Graveyard People is has a nice middle jazzy section, but that's about it and it ends abruptly.

The flipside holds a record-breaking four tracks, including the side-best 7-mins Walking In The Wind, a tad too wordy, therefore not letting Winwood expand instrumentally as we'd wished it for that length, but it's still hanging in terms of Traffic quality standard, as does the almost instrumental Love, but Memories and the title track are simply not cutting the mustard, the first being boring the second mushy, sloppy and even embarrassing, 'cause it's so bad. What a way to miss your stage exit.

The group will part after this and it will be a long time before they are to be heard of. Aside from Winwood's first solo album in 77 (quite good and bringing you back to LSOHHB or SOAFF), most of the solo albums from the band's mainstays are of little interest to progheads, least of all Winwood's massive sellers of the mid-80's. This album is only for confirmed fans, but if you liked ALL of the preceding ones, you might have room for this one as well. Certainly better than Last Exit. .

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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