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Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.33 | 1271 ratings

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4 stars This is a solid follow-up to the massive overhaul that is INNER MOUNTING FLAME. There's a lot of great material on this album as well, but hearing the debut album first soured some appreciation I have for BIRDS OF FIRE. This shouldn't happen though since BIRDS OF FIRE has plenty of awesome songs like the title track, ''Celestial Terrestrial Commuters'', ''Hope'' and ''Resolution''.

I think my overlying problem comes from the fact that BIRDS OF FIRE sounds very similar to the debut in plenty of spots. I feel the first three songs here copy the pattern found on the first three song of the debut, just shorter. ''Thousand Island Park'' is the acoustic track of the album, sort of mimicing ''A Lotus...'' from IMF with the violin being traded for a stand-up bass and the overall song being a bit more boring. However, I find this just a small peeve I have.

Sometimes, songs can drag. ''One Word'' and ''Sanctuary'' are notorious for this aspect as they are two of the longest songs here. ''One Word'' is excellent in spots (particularly the very end), but the confusing, dry drum solo, the noneventful bass solo (the only thing I like about them is that Cobham and Laird have their own solos finally), and the general pace of the piece make it very hard to sit through; at almost ten minutes, the length makes it harder.

I feel BIRDS OF FIRE tried to outdo INNER MOUNTING FLAME, yet fails on a couple of counts. Other than the unnecessarily long solos, this is a very good album to pick up. I have the (dis)advantage of hearing INNER MOUNTING FLAME first, so this one will never sound as good to me, but I'm willing to stand behind it nevertheless.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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