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Caravan - All Over You CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.15 | 28 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I guess "All Over You" makes senses as the title of a Caravan album providing radically reworked takes on their classic material - after all, they told us back in their early career that if they "Could Do It All Over Again", they'd do it like that.

There's certainly a lot of imagination involved in the renditions of the material here. Album opener If I Could Do It All over Again, I'd Do It All Over You sounds strikingly modern, whilst Place of My Own is given this foreboding, dramatic acoustic guitar intro which helps lend the song a new gravitas, though this is largely lost once we start getting into the almost samba-esque musical breakdown midway through the song. Other picks feel substantially closer to their originals, such as The Love In Your Eye (though there's a punch of Latin music there too which the original didn't have.)

The lineup here consists of three Caravan founder members - Richard Coughlan, Pye Hastings, and Dave Sinclair - plus long-standing regular guest performer Jimmy Hastings and the well-established Geoffrey Richardson. It's not like we're dealing with a unit that actively has contempt for the original versions of these songs, or who haven't done a fine job performing live renditions close to the original format in the past. Instead, you have five guys who absolutely know these songs inside and out giving their best go at putting a fresh coat of paint on them.

Part of the intent here seems to have been to provide a more modern take on the songs. Even when it comes to those presentations which are close-ish to the originals, you can catch Coughlan slipping some decidedly 1990s-esque drum loops (or playing which sounds remarkably like a drum loop) here and there. At the same time, in keeping with the mellow pop direction that Caravan had been committed to for a couple of decades or so when this came out, the approach here seems to be to provide a somewhat more sedate take on a lot of the material. Electric guitar and orchestra is scaled right back, acoustic guitar is in. (A major exception is towards the end of the rendition of For Richard here, which takes on an almost industrial trip-hop quality to it.)

As such, whether All Over You is worth it to you really hinges on whether the idea of "chilled-out acoustic Caravan" sounds good to you. If you're into the mellow pop side of Caravan as well as their more celebrated prog side, this might well be the case, though odds are you'll find some of these experimental tweaks to the old material more successful than others, and that you'll still come away preferring the originals. If you only care about the prog side of Caravan's work, you'll probably dislike this, but then you'll probably dislike most of their discography outside of that window in the 1970s when their prog side came to the fore.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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