Top critical review
on 15 June 2017
Some years ago, a friend, his wife and I were listening to "About Time", Steve Winwood. Matey's Missus went into raptures about Steve Winwood's voice and I could only agree, when my pal mentioned "Low spark" and described it as a disgrace. This too, I could only agree. I've never owned a copy. I heard it living above a chap who had it and it wafted through the place all the time and, knowing Mr Fantasy, Spencer Davis stuff (and Winwood's voice), I was shocked. I knew Traffic had become more than a bit "flaky" and they had big troubles with drugs but.....even so.....
To me, it sounded as though two P.A. mics had been hung in a room above a crew that had learned the songs "straight from the pen", that's to say, no work had been done to arrange them properly or for individuals to take time to consider what best to do. The lyrics seemed to me to be imbecilic unless one was drugged up, sloppy, bad sounds, badly recorded and I remembered a review which had said that they were going for a "less produced" sound. More like they turned up to the booked and contracted session "half baked" (not the first time) and gave the record company the job of selling it with that crock about "production values". I had also heard "On the Road" and only two tracks on the entire album were remotely playable, with atrocious guitar playing through miles too much distortion by a Steve Winwood that seemed to have seriously "lost it". Well, one man's meat is another man's poison so if you like it, rock on.