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Greenslade - Bedside Manners Are Extra CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 192 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars There are bands with skilled musicians, good compositions excellent sound, but there's some factor that simply stops some of us of liking them, GREENSLADE is one of them, each time I listen "Bedside Manners are Extra", everything seems OK, the music is well written and performed, the vocals are a bit annoying, even when not terrible, but simply can't follow them, maybe the lack of spectacular moments or something else I can't describe, but bores me terribly.

The best example of this is the self titled opener, nice keyboards, good arrangements but can't stand the complete track, something is too clean too pristine to be real, seems like they avoid all the risks to play safe and become repetitive to an extreme, they create some sort of Prog Pop that is nice to the listener but the name of the game is Progressive Rock and this implies risks, the song flows gently from start to end without surprises or brilliance.

"Pilgrim Progress" starts soft and appears to be predictable, but suddenly they change into some sort of soft Heavy Prog that gives hope of listening something different, but again, the lack of imagination appears to be the general rule, despite some ELP influenced riffs that present some pomp, they fall into bland sections "a la" CAMEL, but without the originality, to the point that they start to sound a bit cheesy. A few radical changes are not enough to capture my interest into this anodyne track that keeps repeating itself almost from the start.

"Time to Dream" is an excellent title for this track, because by this moment I'm already sleepy, at least the song is frenetic enough to stop me from taking a nap, but I believe it's absolutely incoherent, like they never knew what they wanted, the instruments are thrown one over the other with no coherence, not a good song.

"Drum Folk" is supposed to be the central piece, the closer GREENSLADE comes to an epic, and to be honest, they achieve some suspense in the introduction, but when the keyboards take the lead, the band falls again into that predictability that is one step to be tedious.

Before they even reach the climatic section of the track, they decide to include a drum solo, for God's sake, never seen one in such a terrible moment, not that is bad, because Andy McCulloch is very capable, but destroys all the coherence of the song, and even worst, they restart with a soft flute section instead of using the extra boost the drums provided.

Surprisingly a Psychedelic guitar keyboard break is the best the band has presented since the album started, but when they jump to another solo, I believe it's time to press the skip button.

"Sun Kissed You're Not" starts like some sort of failed soft jazz Symphonic experiment (something like Chuck Mangione meets Rick Wakeman), the keyboards can only be described as cheesy and unimaginative, I can't understand how they were able to create a middle 80's product in the early 70's, no need to comment this track, for a second occasion the skip button is the solution.

"Chalkhill" closes the album in the same vein as the previous track, but still with less energy and weaker keyboards, at this point the skip button becomes my best friend.

Not much to say, good musicians not always make good albums because skills alone are not enough, you need some imagination, something this album lacks from start to end, will give them two stars being that some keyboard sections are interesting, but nothing more.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |


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