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Can - Soundtracks CD (album) cover





3.83 | 348 ratings

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3 stars Can - Soundtracks

Can's second studio album provides an interesting look into one of my favorite bands of all time. Can always had (and has) that odd, distant, slightly eclectic sound that is just a journey for the mind--and this album is no exception. Everything from their tight and fun percussion to the lazily sweet vocals and interesting compositions and improvisation is present, and in a good form.

Of course, this album isn't a widely celebrated album in any respects, and it's certainly a long shot from a masterpiece of any kind (which can honestly be said about all of Can's albums--while they are mostly pretty good, none of them scrape the masterpiece territory in my opinion). This album was written in haste for the band's record company and the results prove this--the record sounds strained (but then again so does much of Can's work). Yet it's strange--almost rebellious in nature, and the compositions themselves are certainly entertaining.

Now the music:

The opening tracks (1-3) all contain interesting, rebellious, melodic riffs that prove to be interesting, catchy, and strangely moving. They are also feature great percussive/trance-like beats that carry you away in the hypnotic sense. Overall, a nice part of the album.

Don't Turn the Lights On... is an interesting track, again with nice percussion, and a neat guitar riff. The vocals deliver very well on this track in my opinion...although on the next one Malcolm Mooney fills in vocals (and also on track 7)--which doesn't exactly please me. He's the one with the estranged and frankly, annoying voice, although his vocals on the final track are actually not that bad. The end of this track features an almost Western (in the American sense) bit of music, which is certainly fun and interesting.

Afterward, things get jamming with the great, great improv track Mother Sky, which, along with the first section, is the highlight of the album. Afterwards, we're led to the outro of a nice, jazzy piece only very slightly hindered by Mooney's vocals: She Brings the Rain.

Overall, this is a nice intermediary album for early Can, and proves the band's skill in writing--under pressure. The album starts strong, but then has it's weaker center moments, before ending roughly with improv and a nifty little outro piece.

It's nothing to write home about--but then again, Can hardly ever is, unless taken on the whole. They are the ultimate example, in my opinion, of the phrase "greater than the sum of its parts," though it's rather hard to explain why. the mysterious, ethereal, rebellious quality of almost all of their music (and certainly ALL of their music featuring Suzuki).

They're just a band--a crazy, improvisational, and fun band that is always a journey to listen to. This album does successfully recreate, or rather, begin creating, the hypnotic quality of their music--just not quite as successfully as, say, Ege Bamyasi, or future releases.

It is, however, a nice album to have for it's stronger moments, and--of course, for those completionists. Something like a 6.8 on my scale, which is easily 3 stars on this one. If you are forced to pick of a Can album, this one's not a bad choice at all, and it actually works relatively well as a starting point, as only one Can album came previously.

Figglesnout | 3/5 |


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