Top positive review
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Take a look at this album...
on 12 June 2003
Supertramp emerged from the ranks of mainstream 70's rock bands to superstardom in one fell swoop with the release and subsequent massive success (and critical acclaim) of this seminal album.
The stand-out tracks on this album are the famous title track 'Breakfast In America' and the Ivor Novello Award winning track 'The Logical Song', but even they do not do justice to the quality that is evident throughout the rest of the album. From a musical point of view, this album is truly flawless. With near Swiss precision, Supertramp demonstrate the sort of skill that previous albums could only hint at. But it's in the song-writing that the real revelations become apparent. It's no secret that this album represents the high water mark of Supertramp's achievements, and as such, the tensions within the band were at their most strained, and (ironically) their most productive and fruitful.
One listen to the lyrics of 'Child Of Vision' ("There's no reason to fight, because we both know that we're right") or 'Casual Conversations' ("It doesn't matter what I say, you never listen anyway") illustrates perfectly how the song-writing partnership of Hodgson and Davies was disintegrating. How ironic that their best work is on this album... 'Gone Hollywood' summarises the experience of a British band relocating to the mad world of L.A. succinctly and perfectly, whereas Supertramp are in unusually casual and nearly optimistic mood in 'Goodbye Stranger' and the brilliant 'Take The Long Way Home', a track that is as life-affirming as it is enjoyable to listen to..
But, being a purist, it is hard to detract from the sheer song-writing brilliance that is 'The Logical Song'. This is near flawless music, from the lyric to the performance by the band, so it is no wonder that this song was such a massive hit and continues to be a staple of radio channels the world over. It is a charcteristic of any classic album (of which 'Breakfast In America' is a certain alumni) to have a classic track such as this, but this album has another.. the title track is a bona-fide classic, originally penned by Roger Hodgson in 1969 (10 years prior to the recording of this album), but virtually unchanged from his original ideas, which is staggering in itself.. the lyric to 'Breakfast In America" is one of the most famous in 70's rock.. "Take a look at my girlfriend, she's the only one I got; Not much of a girlfriend, never seem to get alot.."
"Lord Is It Mine" is nowhere near being as preachy as some others may lead you to believe. Alternatively, it is a personal and quite uplifting track that is Hodgson through and through, and a quietly powerful track that stands head and shoulders above many of it's peers. Also, Rick Davies' tracks 'Oh Darling' and 'Just Another Nervous Wreck' are as accomplished as the rest of the album, and help to make this album one of the most essential of the 1970's genre.
It's rare to find a 10 track album in which all 10 tracks are so well crafted, so well executed, and so enjoyable to listen to.. but please don't just take my word for it. The quality that you've no doubt heard in the famous tracks are extended throughout the whole album, and before you know it, they too will become treasured favourites. It's no coincidence that I have lost several copies of this CD to friends, and have ended up buying the album again and again, because no record collection can be complete without it.