Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 
Non-Prog CD Reviews

Supertramp

Some Things Never Change

Review by Gary Hill

Although Roger Hodgson is no longer in the band, this album certainly proves that Supertramp can work their particular form of magic without him. One really does not miss Hodgson on this disc. The album certainly contains enough progrock leanings to be included in the progressive section of this publication. This is a very strong album and a great addition to any fan`s collection.

The lineup here is Ray Davies, Mark Hart (of Crowded House fame), John Helliwell, Cliff Hugo, Bob Stebenberg, Lee R. Thornburg, Carl Verheyen and Tom Walsh. These musicians are joined on the album by several sidemen.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
It's A Hard Road
Starting with disonant piano, the intro is, in fact, a very jazzy and open piano/bass interplay. Eventually, the number drops into the main structure of the piece, which is in a nice stripped-down Supertramp format. Occassional saxophone strains bring back the jazz tones. Also included in this number is some rather Spanish oriented guitar work. Lyrically, the track is rather depressing in tone that seems to point out how in our everyday lives we keep hoping for the big break that never seems to come. "The from my window ain`t too good, Should be some mail for me soon from Hollywood, When the phone rings could be big things any time, Operator is there somethin' wrong with this line". Musically, however, this is a fun, groove oriented composition.
You Win I Lose
Feeling as if it would fit on the Breakfast in America album, You Win I Lose is a strong, bouncy progressive pop number in that classic Supertramp tradition.
Get Your Act Together
Another strong prog/pop treatment, this time in a much slower mode than the track before, the cut has an almost R & B sort of texture at times. This number features polished vocal performances, quirky stops and a splendid horn arrangement. Get Your Act Together is a "grab yourself by the collar, pull yourself up, things will get better" sort of message.
Live To Love You
This is a pretty and moving pop ballad with prog sensibilities. The break on this one is in a definite progressive mode displaying minor echoes of both Yes and Genesis. Although the lyrical sentiments are a bit cliched, this is a feel good song that leaves a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart. "But when I think it`s all over and over, I still want you around me, You know you astound me, I couldn`t live without you."
Some Things Never Change
The title track is quite substantial and full of kinetic energy. Much of the song feels as if it is on the verge of exploding; full of tension. The piece rewards us with sections of prog oriented brilliance. This is one of Supertramp`s strongest songs ever and features a break that reminds one (just a bit) of War`s "Low Rider". The keyboard work during the solo seems in the vein of early Pink Floyd (ala Meddle).
Listen to Me Please
This is another track firmly rooted in that so familiar old Supertramp mode. A competent pop/rock song, Listen to Me contains quite definite prog sections. Ending segments of the piece take on textures in the vein of old spirituals. This is a standout number.
Sooner or Later
Again calling to mind "Low Rider", this one has that sort of rhythmic texture. The arrangement is very Steely Danesque, while still maintaining that trademark Supertramp sound. I would really like to hear what the Dan would do with this piece. This is a well crafted and performed pop/rock cut set in solid musical territory. The number features an extended groove oriented jazz jam with Carribean rhythmic leanings. "Sooner or later it`s gonna get better, Sooner or later I`m gonna get over her".
Help Me Down That Road
Undoubtedly a blues track, this cut features a competent arrangement and strong instrumental work set in a fairly standard blues format. This format is, however, broken up by some unusual timing changes.
And The Light
A rather standard poppy blues oriented song, this is a solid track, but doesn`t really stand out. Lyrically, the piece is about a couple coming back together after a long separation. "So many years have come and gone since then, Still can`t forget the past, But you and me, we`ll surely meet again, And maybe find the truth at last".
Bonus Track(this one is not listed on the sleeve)
A verse arrangement calling to mind both Pink Floyd and Goes to Hell era Alice Cooper is contrasted with an overly poppy chorus. The combination is quite effective, and a strong saxophone solo adds to the charm of the piece.
C`est What
Beginning with the serious contemplative Supertramp musical side showing, C`est What certainly fits into the category of Brother Where You Bound in the introduction. The piece moves into a more solid rock footing as it goes on. This is a long and inspired piece in that classic Supertramp mode, and certainly gets points for a very clever title.
Where There`s a Will
Although another strong Supertramp number, this is not a standout cut. It serves as quite and adequate conclusion to a very appealing album.
 
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Non-Prog
Progressive Rock
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2019 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com