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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If anyone can, Can can,
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Can simply baffle and entrance. If you decide that they're not for you, then you'll never understand why a surprisingly large number of musos describe them as the greatest product of late 20th Century music.
Soon Over Babaluma won't clarify your decision either way, though Dizzy Dizzy is one one of their most accessible tracks. It's a piece of dub reggae with bluesy violin, which merely leaves one wondering how anyone could contemplate playing dub reggae without a bluesy violin. The other obvious stand-out track is Splash - effectively a furious work-out by the band's two stand-out musicians: Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit. Karoli plays a seven-minute, screeching, distorted guitar and violin solo while Liebezeit concocts a jazz rhythm behind it that grows in skill and complexity till it becomes simply breathtaking.
On the strength of these two tracks alone I would recommend Soon Over Babaluma, but there is more. True, I could happily go quite a long time before hearing 'Come Sta, La Luna' again, while 'Quantum Physics' (which closes the album) doesn't stand up on its own but only works as a coda to the rest of the piece. However, 'Chain Reaction', the centrepiece of side two, is a beautiful venture into the disco rhythms that were starting to make themselves felt at the time, and is only let down by its vocal (a criticism I will heretically make of most Can albums, regardless of whether it's Karoli, Schmidt, Suzuki or Mooney singing). If you're going to have a pregnant 4-minute intro, your first lines need to better than "Elephant... dominating..." Karoli briefly manages to sample a Doors guitar solo as well (Love Her Madly, if you must know).
If, like me, you can enjoy Can simply for the shallow pleasure of listening to Jaki Liebezeit's wonderful drumming, then waste no more time and put this CD in your shopping basket right now. If you're curious about this near-legendary band, then this isn't a bad place to start (better than the baffling Ege Bamyasi recommended by some reviewers). And, if you're interested in 70s prog rock, then this makes an interesting partner to King Crimson's Red, recorded at the same time and cited by some as "the last prog album". Both are somewhat minimalist, stripped-down works of focused, jazz-tinged, adventurous music - hardly prototype punk rock, but aeons away from Tales from Topographic Oceans.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars underrated_can,
This was the first album after the departure of Damo Suzuki. Michael Karoli takes over the lead vocal duties as well as adding violin, both of which sit very comfortably within the classic Can sound. Jaki Liebezeit's metronomic drum grooves hold the whole album together in the same way as their previous work - so there is much here to enjoy for the Can fan. It is an album that is often overlooked in favour of "Future Days" or "Tago Mago", however this is still a very credible album, and one of my personal favourites. I also feel that it is a better album than its follow up "Landed". If I could give this a four-and-a-half rating I certainly would. This particular reissue also comes in the CD cases that are slightly rounded on the corners - which is a nice design idea and still fit into a normal racking or storage system.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite album,
This is not only my favourite Can-album (sounding very different from the oft-mentioned albums like Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi or Monster Movie - which I also like a lot) but my favourite of all albums I own, which is a (varied) lot! It has had to compete for this honourable position with Pink Floyd's DSOTM, Zep BBC Sessions and Happy trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service. None of which come close to this album, the only one that comes close (in style) but is the slightly lesser (imHo) is Future Days.
The absolute star of this album has to be Michael Karoli, who is solely responsible for my new-found love of clean sounds, for which the Stratocaster is remarkbly suitable. Can's albums reward a dedicated listeningto appreciate all the intricacies. I absolutely dig Karoli's 2-4-1-3-4 rhythm on Chain Reaction. Such genius to come up with that and be able to play it. his vocal work is quite reminiscent of former singer Suzuki, and not a complete replacement, but it's close enough for this material (I don't think he could've replaced Suzuki on Can's previous songs, but here it works out just fine)
I play this album when I want to fall asleep, it's soothing music is not dull (in fact, I have to make sure I won't start paying attention to the beutiful intricacies of these songs or I won;t fall asleep any time soon. This is not a dull album at all, it is very soothing and when I played this to my visitors at my birthday party, other even exclaimed how nice it was - which was a revalation! I could play all other music I like, and some of my guests will start complaining - about jangly guitar noises etc. It was nice to notice others agreeing with me for a change.
the highlight of this album has to be Chain Reaction the instrumental performance on this album (not only Karoli's, Liebezeit's drumming really sem to earn him the description of having "no humanizing function"). And the vocals on Come sta, la luna (typical of the the era German-style artistically correct almost-screaming) which made me cringe at first now sound perfect for the song.
And I'm no audiophile, but in this case I think I definitely hear a difference between the SACD and the regular CD-layer. Although it could be that the CD-layer is just exceptionally bad in sound quality (I've noticed this before on other (Can-) SACDs of which I also had the regular CD. then the regular CD sounded better than the hybrid layer of the SACD.) In all, a wholly reccommended buy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Dizzy Dizzy,
This review is from: Soon Over Babaluma (Audio CD)
Just a brief comment after perusing peoples reviews of various Can albums.The genius of Can was their sheer level of creativity and progression as proved by Babaluma quite different from the preceding albums but it just screams experimentation.Dizzy Dizzy being one of my all time favourite Can tracks.Always feel privilleged to have seen them circa 72 in their Tago Mago days-loved them ever since.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can's best?,
I've listened to a few of Can's major albums, and Soon Over... is for me the most consistently enjoyable listen. Whereas other Can albums are too sprawling/eclectic (Ege Bamyasi), too short (Future Days) or just too plain weird (Tago Mago), Soon Over strikes the right balance between accessibility and experimentation. The fact that Damo Suzuki has left makes little difference- his departure was hardly like Syd Barrett leaving the Floyd, and anyway, Can's music is primarily instumental, so it's easy enough to work around Damo's absence.
The album has a fairly jazzy and ethereal sound compared with the more strident rythms of Ege Bamyasi. It has the mellow feel of Future Days, but with more stylistic variety and musical colour. The opener, Dizzy Dizzy has a lovely stuttery vocal which is mimicked by Leibzeit's rhythm, while it showcases Karoli's violin playing. Come Sta, La Luna is like a slow tango, with some film samples and some nice guitar playing from Karoli. Splash continues the Latin feel with its percussion, but is offset with a squalling violin, before half-way through, the track mellows out slightly, where some nice 70s synth washes come in accompanied by Karoli's guitar playing, like a jazzier Pink Floyd. Chain Reaction is a very odd, but brilliant, funk/disco marathon. Its disco, but not as we know it, that is, filtered through Can's peculiarly idiosyncratic sensibility. Propelled by an insistent 4/4 rhythm, before slowing down a couple of times to a funky strut, the track closes with some frazzled freak-out guitar and percussion. The closer, Quantum Physics, is an ambient track which rounds things off fairly well.
Overall, I don't feel that Can's albums always quite hit the heights that they ought to (mainly, I think, because they're too short, and leave the listener feeling short-changed). But nonetheless, Soon Over... is the Can album I'd recommend.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Can Album.,
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Chain Reaction was problably the track that set me up for a lifetime of loving psycheldelic music. Some people consider heavy rock to be the most heavy music, but I think underground psycheldelic rock bands like Can (and Hawkwind at that time) leave plain rock bands such as Nirvana and the Killers for dead. Can were just far too heavy for most people. The recording sounds a little tame nowadays, but Chain Reaction and Dizzy Dizzy have been my biggest influence with the music I make. Today I am into bands like Broadcast, Electrelane, and Magnetic Fields plus dance bands like James Holden who carry the mantle (for me anyway) for underground experimenatal rock.
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