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Traffic - The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys CD (album) cover

THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS

Traffic

 

Eclectic Prog

4.06 | 313 ratings

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XzarykStoltz
5 stars As this is my first review for this site, I wanted to choose an album that was definitely worthy of a 5 star rating. Low Spark is certainly such an album. Mixing an amalgam of styles (jazz, rock, blues and folk), this album stands as TRAFFIC's crowning achievement, in a career that was often hampered with band members coming and going on a regular basis.

The title track (all eleven minutes of it) is one of the most exciting musical excursions one can undertake, and is my personal favorite song from this band. Beginning with a slow, almost churning fade in, one is taken on an ever evolving sonic exploration courtesy of Winwood's mournful vocals and piano and Chris Wood's fuzz drenched sax. Reebop's underrated bongo usage also lends an air of mystique to a track that is already an epic on the grand scale.

"Hidden Treasure" is another standout cut, and I only wish it were as long as the title track. Wood's flute brings this song a certain "backwoods" quality that is matched by Rainmaker at the album's end. The folky charm and echoey vocals make this track equally as good as the title track that follows it.

"Rock and Roll Stew" is one of two obligatory rockers on the album and is the better of the two. Capaldi takes lead vocal duties on this one and it ends up being a fun little song helped along by Winwood's chiming guitar.

More fantastic flute work from Wood follows on "Many A Mile To Freedom" a track that one reviewer described as "gospel- tinged". Winwood also turns in some nice guitar playing here as well.

Capaldi's "Light Up Or Leave Me Alone" is the other rocker, and is an albeit lighthearted ode to pot. All in all a fun song to listen to when...dare I say....under the influence.

"The closing track "Rainmaker" and opens with some chittering flute work from Wood followed by the Native-American like chanting of " Rainmaker" from Winwood and Capaldi. Also featured is some quick violin work from the late Rick Grech, who was previously a member of BLIND FAITH and FAMILY.

All in all, one of the best albums from 1971 and IMHO TRAFFIC's finest piece of work. I like to think that this is the album that got TRAFFIC into the (seemingly anti-prog) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "If you had just a minute to breathe, and they granted you one final wish, would you ask for something like another chance?"

XzarykStoltz | 5/5 |

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