Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Young Mother|
|2. Back Street Luv|
|4. You Know|
|7. Bright Summer's Day '68|
|8. Piece Of Mind|
Time has not treated Curved Air's second album kindly. Of course it was always dominated by "Back Street Luv," which isn't simply one of the band's own finest moments, it's also one of the crucial singles of the early 1970s. But across this straightforward reissue of the accompanying album, the savage innovation which was the hallmark of their Air Conditioning debut, and the brilliant eclecticism which would characterize their next set, is nowhere in sight. Which is weird, because it always used to sound quite good. In its place, a crop of relatively straightforward but sonically flat rock songs are distinguished by Sonja Christina's most conventional, cool vocals yet -- only "Back Street Luv" truly draws any true emotion out of her, while the band's much vaunted classical/rock fusion only shakes its fist during the closing "Piece of Mind," although it must be admitted that when it shakes, it really shakes. A building, foreboding 13-minute epic, crowned by a genuinely spine-tingling recitation from TS Eliot's "The Wasteland," "Piece of Mind" is the kind of performance which you just know was played endlessly in college dorm rooms of the age. The segues from mounting rock to pondering piano seem hopelessly old-fashioned now, the building tension of violin and percussion seems obvious and hackneyed. In 1971, though, Curved Air were pioneers in every sense of the word and it is neither their fault, nor this album's, that we're not so easily impressed any longer. But maybe it isn't time which has treated this album so poorly, but the slipshod manner in which this album has been converted to CD. It sounds lifeless, sludgy, even (in places) a little slow. It has certainly not been remastered; it may not even have used the best quality tapes. Albums this ambitious need loving care and patient attention to cut the aural ice today. This one got neither. ~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide
Top Customer Reviews
It opens with "Young Mother", which begins and ends with an every-note-in-its-place vocal section with a wonderfully free-flowing violin and synthesiser jam in the centre. "Back Street Luv" was the hit single - a distinctive sound unlike anyone else. "Jumbo" and "You Know" are the most lightweight tracks here, the former featuring Sonja's multitracked vocals playing against the violin, the latter old-fashioned rock'n'roll.
Puppets is a minimalist song (about manipulation?) extending for five and a half hypnotic minutes. It's very quiet, almost remote, with simple percussion and piano underscoring a quiet voice and dreamlike synthesiser. Energy returns with "Everdance" and "Bright Summer's Day" before the final track "Piece of Mind", the album's tour de force. Almost thirteen minutes of music in the best progressive tradition, the mood ranges from manic to desperate to quietly contemplative, with the band exploring their sounds to the fullest with a precision similar to that of King Crimson.
The only weak episode is represented by the track "Bright Summer's Day '68" and moreover the biggest hit "Back street Luv" to me can not stand in the same place as for instance the suoperb "Piece of mind", but definitively this album is well worth checking out!!
Most recent customer reviews
I re-discovered Curved Air not long ago... Sonja is great not only for her voice, but her looks and the way she performs, with all those 70's seasoning... Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2004
... Curved Air's second album was a pleasant discovery for me.. I had long known about this band because of a pair songs aired from it's "Phantasmagoria" album, but I... Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2001 by Yujon3D
One of the sexiest and cerebral musical memories of my callous youth: Sonja Kristina of Curved Air, playing the violin like a whirling dervish characterisation and singing with... Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2001 by Martyn Richard Jones
Curved Air were never instantly accessible - but then, musical brilliance rarely is. The only truly commercial track on 2A was Back Street Luv, but most of the tracks on this album... Read morePublished on April 23 2000 by Alan Stewart