Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
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Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2015

Caravan - Cool Water (1994)

Artista: Caravan
Álbum: Cool Water
Año: 1994
Género: Escena Canterbury
Duración: 52:18
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra

Lista de Temas:
1. Cool Water
2. Just the Way You Are
3. Tuesday Is Rock and Roll Nite
4. The Crack of the Willow
5. Ansaphone
6. Cold Fright
7. Side by Side
8. You Won’t Get Me Up in One of Those
9. To the Land of My Fathers
10. Poor Molly
11. Send Reinforcements

- Richard Coughlan / percussion, drums
- Pye Hastings / guitar (acoustic), guitars, vocals
- Geoff Richardson / guitars, flute, violin, vocals, soloist
- Dave Sinclair / organ, piano, keyboards, Mini Moog
- Mike Wedgewood / bass

Más material de Caravan compartido oportunamente por Wan cuando aún no era parte del staff del blog cabezón... otro disco prescindible en la discografía de la banda, más que nada para los coleccionistas o fans de Caravan, con material de descarte de discos de los setentas... veamos.

He decidido publicar esta revisión independientemente de su año de edición, ya que contiene material escrito, interpretado y grabado entre los álbumes Better by Far y The Album; y por ello considero que éste es su sitio.
Los discos con material inédito pueden ser muy atractivos, a priori. ¡Un disco con material inédito de Caravan grabado en los años setenta! Luego, al escucharlo el entusiasmo inicial se atempera.
Las siete primeras canciones se grabaron originalmente con la idea de un segundo álbum para el sello Arista. En estas sesiones se registraron muchos temas más, alguno de Richard Sinclair y quizá alguno de Jan Schelhaas. Las piezas fueron "Cold Fright", "What Elephant?", "Ansaphone", "Just The Way You Are", "Side By Side", "Mark 53", "Crack Of The Willow", "Bright Shiny Day", "Heartbreaker", "Cool Water", "Emily, Just 4", "Funky Love", "Uncle's Farm", "Fireman", "Space Cowboy", "Do It All Night" (a.k.a. "Tuesday Is Rock & Roll Nite"), "Pielican", "Bicycle Belle" y "Acc.Mo." De las que no están en este album solo se ha editado "Uncle's Farm", en el disco de Richard Sinclair Live Tracks (2003), pero es una canción conocida por ser la version original del “Down on the Farm” de Camel.
Las últimas cuatro canciones las encontró Hastings en una cinta de casete buscando material para este proyecto y es el producto de su trabajo con miembros de la banda de Gordon Giltrap de cara a un álbum en solitario que nunca se grabó.
Supongo que Hastings sabe que uno de sus puntos fuertes son los tiempos medios, y así empieza el disco, bien, con “Cool Water”. De rock progresivo, yo no encuentro nada. La mayor parte de éste son piezas rockeras, incluso rocanroleras (como "Tuesday Is Rock & Roll Nite"), intentos de hacer canciones pegadizas y con algo de "marcha". A mí no me parece que merezca la pena una revisión pormenorizada del disco, tema a tema. Decir, si acaso, que me gusta el riff de “Cold Fright”.
Los músicos están correctos, destacando Schelhaas incansable dándole al piano eléctrico y al sintetizador para los solos. Se agradece el cambio de músicos al llegar a los últimos cuatro temas. Aportan un cambio en el sonido –otros teclados, otro estilo en la sección rítmica–, pero que es el único aliciente de la fase final del compacto.
Os invito a escuchar este disco sólo cuando hayáis adquirido el resto de los discos oficiales del grupo. Digamos que es para fans. Para mí Caravan significa otro tipo de propuesta. Cool Water sólo es una viñeta de la época del nadir creativo del grupo. Sin embargo, su publicación provocó un cambio en el “escenario”, un mínimo repunte de interés, que permitió que el grupo pudiera volver a activarse y grabar The Battle of Hastings.
Carlos Romeo

Espero que les haya quedado claro, si quieren lo mejor de la banda, no lo busquen aquí, ya hay verdaderas joyitas de ellos publicado en el blog cabezón.
Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés y a preparar alguna entrada más interesante.

Not a bad album considering it came out after all the moth balls were dusted off! Audio is notably poor and Pye confirms that on the CD but there are some really clever pieces reminiscent of Blind Dogs and Better By Far. Tracks worth mentioning are The Crack of the Willow, Send reinforcements and Side by Side
Chris S.

This album contains material, recorded by Caravan in studio in 1977. Recordings spent 17 years somewhere in the vaults before they were released for a first time. Obviously material wasn't developed till the end, so many songs sound more as demos with simplistic arrangements and poor sound mix.
But main problem with this album isn't mix or arrangements, but the songs themselves. Band well known by their melodic folk-pop influenced Canterbury sound in early 70-s recorded there just a collection of simple, but melodic pop-rock songs. In a key of Crosby,Stills and Nash, or Brian Wilson.
Not too many traces of Canterbury sound could be find there. Just very average pop-rock album vice nice vocals harmonies. For collectors only.
Slava Gliozeris

Lush pop. Lushy, slushy, mushy, wishy, washy pop. I LOVE it. Stone me just like in that silly Bob Dylan song and dismiss me as a blasphemous, hypocritical Judas for not basing my rating of this album on progressiveness but rather the quality and effort put into the songwriting because this is a damn GOOD release. (Read: Not great, this album does have a totally glaring and grody flaw and it's simply that theres not enough diversity, dudes and dude-ettes, but that's not going to deny a well crafted album a respectable rating) Okay, first to slip the obligatory historical facts regarding this album into this review to feed your hungry minds:
Historical Filler-in Fact 1#: This is an archive release; the music on here was written in 1979 rather than 1994 when this music was released. This music was originally slated to be the sequel of the exceptionally great "Better by Far" but for some reason; the project was dropped.
Historical Filler-in Fact 2#: The songs on here are demos or at least, have a demo-like quality. There are a few crackles and a tape hitch here and there but otherwise, everything sounds just fine.
Well there ya go. I now need not to go off on a long rambling essay about anything else other then the goods printed on this dandy disk. "Cool Water" is mainly composed of intelligent pop rockers and pop ballads that are not complex in the slightest but there is a very nice emphasis placed on melody and musicianship. I'll even admit that band leader, Pye Hastings, had undergone a transformation into a popmeister during the mid-seventies but he also became a seriously talented, first rate popmeister during the mid-seventies. (Unfortunately, his songwriting ability suddenly got all moldy in the eighties. After all, it was Mr. Pye spearheading the creation for half of what sounds like the soundtrack for a disco roller-skating movie on "The Album" and something with less pseudo-inspiration than a greasy late period Rick Ashley butternuttter on "Back to Front".) However, in the final year of the seventies, Hastings still had an almost solid grasp on his fleeting talent and pens some real oobie-doobie songs that are well worth hearing.
If not anything else, it's the airy, fluffy ballads that truly prevail on this album. The xylophone laden title track has the uncanny ability to quell my emotions whenever its sound waves linger in the air. Those three part harmonies slowly and soulfully crooning "all I need is, cooooool waaater, cooooooool waaaater, cool water, that's all" just wash over me, lulling me into a tranquil state of placidity. A perfect song for meditating and lots of deep breathing. Magnificant.
"Crack of the Willow" is only second to the subject of the above paragraph. I could never imagine a more (excuse me from stealing the lingo from a stereotypical review) "wistful" and beautiful synthesizer line that graces such a lovely ballad. And the song itself is about bowling, no less! Such an uncliched topic and Pye tackles it with a real poetic flair. The other two ballads "Side by Side" and "Land of My Fathers" are kind of weaker in terms of melody, though. "Land of My Fathers" does sound very heartfelt and contemplative, while "Side by Side" is rather yawn inducing, lite lite musik.
The more upbeat poppy fare is a mixed doggie bag, as well "Just the Way You Are" is a positively heavenly pop rocker with a bouncy motownish charm. A song like this just throws its dorkiness to the wind and invites you to join in the joviality, which I happily do without the slightest shame. It's a quality composition and you're a fool if you hate it because it doesn't have a complex time signature or universally moronic "universal" lyrics. (Like Yes or anything Pete Sinfield wrote, e.g.) It's the melody that matters, IMO!
"Poor Molly" may just have the darnest best hook on the album, even considering the outstanding ballads. Unfortunately, that hook certainly isn't good enough to be constantly repeated over the course of six minutes! Not even the melody of a first rate Beatles song deserves that treatment. "You Won't Get Me Up In One Of Those" mixes a huffingly long title with calypso and power pop and interestingly enough, it sounds quite inspired.
In complete contrast and I'm going to ditto the All Music guide and say "Tuesday Is Rock And Roll Nite" is a hilariously bad misfire. Here's my first knock at the song: Partying on a WEEKDAY?! Is he MAD?! At least Elton John knew that a Saturday night is all right for fighting but Pye is a total square! Oh and Pye ends up sounding like a completely talentless dweeb singer trying to make his ultra thin voice (which is perfectly suited for the lighter stuff, not "Guns and Roses" like fare) sound all anthemic and powerful.
Pye also is a total albino cracka for thinking he could pen a couple of serious funk numbers. "Ansaphone" and "Cold Fright" are completely silly; totally attempting to lay down the funk but end up sounding whiter than a Nabisco Saltine. Good thing they still have nice melodies to compensate their dippiness or I'd write em off as throwaways real quick.
The last song is perhaps Caravan's last attempt ever at something in the epic, pompous and proggy vein. "Send Reinforcements" is dark, dire and it even has a multipart, almost Pink Floydian sounding chorus. ("I feel so all alone, I feel so all aloooooone, can you hear me?") That's enough to keep all you hardcore proggers satisfied, eh no?
So, in conclusion, this album is lush pop. Always wonderful, always composed for the sole purpose of being inoffensively catchy, always lush pop. My only beef with this album, other than a few of the cheesier numbers, is eventually everything gets a bit samey being so lush. If you're a prog fans who's even a little partial to pop, give this music a try. It's not perfect but it doesn't deserve to be written off simply for its sheer poppiness. No album produced by a quality band like Caravan deserves that.. Please approach with an open mind, for that is the key to this album's immense enjoyment.
Album grade: B+
Lionel P. Rockefeller

Igual, no desesperen, todavía nos falta publicar más de algunos de los buenos discos de Caravan, en este festival canterburiano un tanto desordenado que estamos haciendo...

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