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Can - Flow Motion CD (album) cover





2.98 | 131 ratings

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3 stars Honestly, a lightweight, dance-pop-oriented album like this is probably the best that could have been hoped for from the band at this point. The band isn't on the cutting edge at all anymore, the rhythm section is MIGHTY no more (though it still sounds okay, doing what it needs to for these grooves), and there are no brilliant pop hooks waiting around to aid the band's move in a poppier direction. You know what, though? It may aim relatively low by Classic Can standards, but it mostly manages to bullseye those lowered expectations, and at the least it has no misguided efforts on the level of "Unfinished" (or, to a less severe extent, "Chain Reaction").

Seven tracks, not a total duffer among them. There are a lot of reggae influences on here, especially in the closing ten-minute title track and in the wonderful (and wonderfully titled) "Laugh Till You Cry, Live Till You Die." "I Want More" (and it's reprise, "... And More") makes good use of the Bo Diddley beat and crosses it with an amusing little synth puttering, creating a song that actually got Can a top-30 single. There's more pop, some atmosphere, and just a whole lot of relatively simplistic song rhythms with Karoli and Schmidt performing a bunch of moderately amusing parlor tricks. That's not an insult, so you know; the songs on this album hardly add much of historical significance to the Can legacy, but it definitely works as cheerful background for my commute, and that works for me.

In short, this isn't an album that can receive a long review, but that's more a function of being samey and not extremely memorable in terms of individual songs. It works just fine as an album, and could have been an effective swan-song had the band not gotten greedy and thought it could pull off a more "serious" approach again ...

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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