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Think - Variety CD (album) cover





3.75 | 38 ratings

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4 stars The opposite of pole vaulting

Let me introduce you to a record that really likes it, when you get drunk and turn up your stereo. It gets even more jolly and exuberant, if you then start to jump a little.....just a little in the corner - it'll sense it. Variety is very much like having an omnipresent party friend living on your shelf. He lies there dormant, until the next time his owner decides to plunge head first down a barrel of beer.

The booming organ dominated jazz rock of the first cut is a fair blueprint of what this album is about. Much in line with the sounds of the early British prog rockers, bands like Colosseum, Quartermass, Gracious and Indian Summer, Think churned out one infinitely warm and heartfelt record back in 73. The comparisons stop at the organ drive though, as Variety brings in an altogether more gooey and sticky vibe. On the first cut it shows itself in a layer that seems to come from within the organ, so as you get this streaming, oozing effervescent quality to it. Sounds absolutely brilliant matched up with the tight interplay of the rhythm section.

Then you have the small interventions happening throughout the album - popping by in the form of either a viola or the smooth guitar stylings of Gerd Pohl. The viola completely transforms the tunes it appears in, especially on that first self-titled track, where it suddenly changes the mood for a playful kind of Mozart rock. The guitar though just does what it does best, which effectively consists of pointing the band in the direction of the stars, hope for the best - and then take off!

Yet another endearing musical trait of Pohl's, is the way he riffs. Oh my word! This guy literally sounds like he's revving an old Ford Mustang! VRRROOOOOOOOOM VRRRROOOOOOUMMM!!!! Ironically, you'll have to wait until the bonus track called More Drops to get the best example of this roaring fuzzed out riffing mayhem. I can't believe this tune wasn't included on the original album! It's one of my favourite things on Variety.

Even the vocals are strangely good - considering this was recorded in Germany 1973, by Germans singing in English. Hoho.....Yeah well, I might be a little harsh, but let me tell you - we were just as horrible in Denmark, when it came to the English lingo. Damn... Anyway, on Variety the vocals are 80% accent-free, and there's additionally a pastoral shading to them that meshes incredibly well with the loftier sections, where the organ develops a quasi mellotron identity and begins to soar like a hot air balloon.

For some musical reference points, I'd say Pink Floyd in the dreamy sections, a strange mix of Black Sabbath, Amon Düül ll and King Crimson in the grainy muddied guitar riffs, and then perhaps a dash of the flute rock that made Canned Heat famous a few years prior to this release.

I think I'm with my good friend John The Mellotron rating-wise. Think's sole album is a breathtaking slice of hard edged psychedelia with a delightful jazzy twist to it. It might not have been particularly fresh and pioneering, back when it first hit the street, but then again if you decide to judge music by the same standards you do water rugby and pole vaulting, you're bound to set yourself up for nothing. Absolutely nothing. That is not zen at its finest btw, that's merely the indication of you missing the plot by several nautical miles. Music is first and foremost about feel, and that is coincidentally also the one single thing this album's got in spades! 4.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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