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Nucleus - Ian Carr: Belladonna CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 54 ratings

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2 stars "Belladonna" was the first Nucleus album after the dispersion of the original line-up. Ian Carr is the only remaining original member, but the music is remarkably similar despite the entirely re-vamped line-up. It wouldn't be a very stable line-up though, from this new band only saxophone player Brian Smith would last a bit longer then one or two albums. One of the one-time honorary collaborators was Allan Holdsworth.

The 14 minute title track find Nucleus in its usual funky psych fusion form. Bit I hear less interplay between the instruments, instead it feels like a jam driven by a steady drum & bass groove. It certainly doesn't offer the dynamic interaction that blew me away on their earlier albums. "Summer Rain" is a fairly undemanding lounge jazz piece, "Rema Dione" is a bit more upbeat and features virtuoso guitar playing from Holdsworth. "Mayday" is another funky jam with interesting rhythm guitars from Holdworth but again it lacks the emotional power of the earlier Nucleus works. The slowly brooding "Suspension" is my favorite here but unfortunately the album ends with dull shredding from Holdworth on "Hector's House". Admitted, I find most shredding dull.

"Belladonna" further established the creative control that Carr had assumed since the previous Nucleus album, and while he would continue delivering quality material from his troops, I find there's too much creative stagnation settling in. On top the band relied too much on the virtuoso qualities of its members and disappoints me on the songwriting side.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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