This debut album of the third incarnation of Curved Air is one of the most unusual approaches to music-making; it focuses its mood on humbleness rather than blaring flashiness and on soft passion rather than obvious passion. This is undoubtably Curved Air's best mood album,and as far as essential creativity goes,this is tremendously high-ranking in the hierarchy of the world's music. All this and more from a group that was supposedly on the verge of total disintegration and disillusionment. The group at this point consisted of Darryl Way(Violin,piano),Stewart Copeland(Drums),Mick Jacques(Guitars),and Sonja Kristina(Vocals). Sonja's vocals are so intense,passionate,and full of emotion that many,I have observed,are overwhelmed and are unable to appreciate their beauty. Darryl plays incredible violin,both as lovely as harp and as upbeat as guitar; he is a true master of the instrument. Jacques has a knack for playing a very grooving guitar,but also
plays some very powerful stuff. Stewart's drums are varied-at times jazzy,at others shocking,but always good. Curved Air is also supported by excellent sessionists. Although both the keyboardist and John Perry,the bassist,are noteworthy,it is lyricist Norma Tager who earns the most attention. Norma Tager's lyrics are wonderful, epic portrayals of what we think of as dull and typical lives. Darryl dominates the group's songwriting in terms of both quality and quantity. His
compositions include "Day Breaks My Heart", outwardly sad and mourning,yet inwardly a testament to the fact that there is a reason that a heart can be broken;"Orange Street Blues",an amazingly fun yet phenomenally sophisticated rocker;and "Midnight Wire",a 7 minute epic of intense emotion. Dark,powerful,tragic,intense, soft-a true masterpiece. "The Fool",a co-write between Darryl and Mick,is a crafty take into the world of folk music while remaining true to the style of the group and album. "Dance of Love",by the same composers,is a bit pop-ish but has incredible vocals by Sonja- terrifically passionate and trembling-and a beautiful violin solo from Darryl. Mick Jacques's own composition is a rather trippy and fascinating instrumental called "Pipe of Dreams". Sonja also manages to get one of her compositions on the album,an intensely passionate song called "Woman on a One Night Stand". This song is not only one of Sonja's most elaborate creations,but also one of her most breathtaking with its unpredictable vocals,haunting guitar,and devil-may-care violin. This album keeps Curved Air's usual genius-conceived mix of hard rock,soft rock, progressive,and classical,yet also steps outside the boundaries of anything that has ever been done before. Using a relatively small and untried band,they nonetheless succeed in creating a masterful album. An essential for Curved Air lovers,and an album which anyone with taste should at least brifly consider.