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Old 10-18-2022, 04:43 PM
aleuzzi's Avatar
aleuzzi aleuzzi is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
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Default Listening to Penguin

For the past several days, I’ve been listening to PENGUIN, sometimes straight through, other times (and more frequently) by track jumping.

My uncle, who is a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Mac, has repeatedly told me the only album from the 1971-74 era that he really digs is PENGUIN. I think it’s a much, much better album than common opinions suggest. The first three and last four songs hang well together. Walker’s two songs are GOOD. They don’t fit in well with the other tunes (at least I don’t think so) but the man can sing and the backing track on Roadrunner is pretty cool. Even The Derelict is pleasant, if out of place.

There’s something about the way it was recorded that is so much more pleasing than MYSTERY. There’s a lot of space and a warm, organic sound. (The speakers on MYSTERY sound too close.)

Those first three songs fit really well together—and Christine really sounds like Christine here. She found her style. Her voice pn Did You Ever Love Me is crazy good.

Revelation has heat but I’ve always preferred Night Watch which, production-wise, sounds so much more sophisticated than anything on BARE TREES. The harmonies slay me and the moodiness of the mid-section earns the descriptor “mystical.” And those harmonies near the end (around 5:45) are so resonant. Love it.

But the real surprise for me is rediscovering Caught in the Rain. I used to love this song when I was young but have pretty much forgotten it in favor of Kirwan’s instrumentals—at least until these past few days. It’s so simple and sweet, an effective piece of program music. The overdubbed harmonies are irresistible.

There’s very little on PENGUIN that I don’t prefer to HEROES and about 1/2 of MYSTERY. And as a follow up to BARE TREES, it feels like a big leap towards what the band would become.

I rank PENGUIN higher than TANGO, MASK, or TIME, and think it better than most of what is on MIRAGE…

Last edited by aleuzzi; 10-18-2022 at 04:46 PM..
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