Monday, April 14, 2008

Album of Last Friday

Hope, by Klaatu (1977): Occasionally I'll be poking around the local brick-and-mortar CD store and come across a band name that I know, vaguely, as being proggy, but can't remember the details. Thrilled to find something unusual, I'll pick it up. That's what happened when, on a lunch time excursion for Kraftwerk, I stumbled upon a 2-on-1 offering from Klaatu. I knew vaguely the band name (and, of course, it's famous namesake) and thought it might be one of the German prog bands.

I was a little surprised to get it open and discover that they're Canadian and a lot poppier than I expected. There's a huge Beatles influence - allegedly, the first album (the other half of this CD) raised questions that it was a Beatles album released under another name - but I find it a sub-par offering. It's got some nice moment (particularly on what was side 2 of the original LP), but there's a recurring vein of theatricality that just sounds embarrassing to my ears ("Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III" from the first album sounds like a bad Muppet Show outtake). Lots of folks seem to think these are masterpieces, but I can't share that enthusiasm.

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