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Supertramp
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  • Progressive in texture for the most part, Supertramp's debut album became increasingly disregarded as they blossomed commercially through the '70s. The album was the only one on which drummer Bob Miller and guitarist Richard Palmer appeared, replaced by Kevin Currie and Frank Farrell for the Indelibly Stamped release which surfaced a year later. Quite a bit different than their radio and AOR material, Supertramp is inundated with pretentious instrumental meandering, with greater emphasis and attention granted to the keyboards and guitars than to the writing and to the overall effluence of the music. There are some attractive moments, such as the mixture of ardor and subtlety that arises in "Words Unspoken," "Surely," and "Nothing to Show," and some of the fusion that erupts throughout the 12 minutes of "Try Again" is impressive even though the whole of the track results in one of the most extravagant and overblown pieces the band has ever produced. Hodgson's use of cello, flageolet, and acoustic guitar is endearing in spots, and while both he and Davies had just recently formed their alliance, it was evident that their songwriting was going to be one of the band's strengths. Ultimately dissatisfied with the results of the album, they retorted with Indelibly Stamped, which disappointingly followed suit. It wasn't until 1974's Crime of the Century that things began to improve for Supertramp, when they replaced Farrell and Currie with saxman John Helliwell, bass player Dougie Thompson, and drummer Bob Benberg. ~ Mike DeGagne
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