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Jane - Here We Are CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.44 | 87 ratings

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3 stars At this point in their prolific career, JANE was essentially a psych blues outfit with progressive attributes. Later on they would become a space rock band with progressive attributes. In other words, the prog was always a stalwart side dish to the revolving main course. Since I find blues rock to be generally tedious, this is not my favourite JANE era.

The opening track exposes every flaw in the style - overly extended jams, numbingly repetitious riffing, and organ abuse, to name a few, and I can also add nonsensical vocal patterns presumably attained through detailed study of Native American culture. This sort of political incorrectness run amok was responsible for the Atlanta Braves baseball team's mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa who lived in a "teepee" near the bleacher seats. But after all this was only 1973, and all in fun I'm sure. That's what JANE was about after all. "Moving" and "Waterfall" are cut from the same cheap cloth, though luckily shorter and a bit less predictable.

Luckily the album also originates pointers to what would become a more subtle and melodic style, chiefly in the form of "Out in the Rain" and the title cut, without sacrificing the heavy rock aspect. "Dandelion" is a pleasant ballad that seems influential in the German symphonic movement. "Like A Queen" experiments with ambiance for a rare moment at this stage of the band's development. Already these exercises overshoot the incessant excess of their predecessor.

My version includes 4 bonus tracks of which only "Daytime" is essential, even if in its single version, originally appearing on "Together" a mere year before. Actually it is essential in its single version, purged of its overbearing tendencies and distilled to the master stroke it was meant to be.

Out of affection for these skilled buffoons, I'm going to round up this time. They may not have gone far in their first year as a recording outfit, but, if I may paraphrase a bit of Tao, wherever we go, here we are.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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