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The Muffins - 185 CD (album) cover

185

The Muffins

 

Canterbury Scene

3.80 | 28 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars The amazing thing with The Muffins is that they've released only one album while they were together (the debut Mana/mirage) but have released some four or five albums posthumously from the period where they were indeed a group. I was never sure whether this album ever did see the light of the day before Frith actually reproduce the album by adding his own touch in 81, but by the time the second version was released, The Muffins were no more (at least I think).

In either case, we get both versions on the same disc, which is of course a treat but also a real flaw. Even though there are differences between the two versions, who really wants to sit a double dose of this RIO? That RIO is often excellent (reminding me of the better Samla Manna), crossed with some Henry Cow (what a surprise, uh? ;-) attitudes, but the weird thing is that both albums do not bear the same tracks sequence or even the exact same track list; . Often the music is more of an improvised music that borders free-jazz, without really crossing the boundary. BTW, Frith does bring something to The Muffins' music, but whatever it is, I'm not sure it was really all that positive, because I prefer the original version.

On the one hand, this album is indeed the other facet of The Muffins, but really the one that most progheads will prefer is definitely the Canterbury soundscapes that seeped through the pores of Mana/Mirage. But that doesn't make this album any less worthy, even if it less essential to this writer's eyes (or should I say ears?).

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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