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Second Wind - Brian Auger

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Brian Auger / Audio CD released 2005-09-26 at Castle

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      01.02.2008 12:05
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      Third album from Brian Auger's Oblivion Express (1972).

      Brian Auger's Oblivion Express was the pianist/keyboardist/organist's second attempt to replicate the jazz fusion sound of this group's first, self-titled release, and again it mostly fails. The main problem here is one of boredom, an emotion I'm sure many associate with all forms of jazz, as the songs attempt a commercial approach through the R & B vocals of newcomer Alex Ligertwood, but contradict this with extensive solos for Auger and guitarist Jim Mullen, of which only Auger's are really of any interest. In a way, these feel like basic, overlong songs packed around the solos to provide an excuse for Auger to show off his talents, and although the album's only half an hour in length, it's a particularly long half-hour.

      Opener 'Truth' is naturally the most accessible song on here, spending much of its duration in verses and choruses before Auger's electric piano begins to tinkle away in the centre. The main organ melody is dull and incredibly repetitive, and the only really enjoyable part of the song is the climactic finale that sees a notable increase in Ligertwood's energy. He's a strong vocalist for this sort of music, but throughout the rest of the album he's mainly confined to arbitrary scatting due to the limited lyrics allocated to him, though he gets to experiment with a higher tone in 'Freedom Jazz Dance.' 'Don't Look Away' passes by without incident or anything particularly interesting outside of an improved piano solo that's nevertheless still similar to that of the first song, and after this point the album becomes more customarily prog as Auger breaks out the organs.

      'Freedom Jazz Dance' features an organ solo in the centre that my ears happen to find rather revolting, but that I can't deny displays talent (significantly misplaced, but talent nevertheless), while the finale 'Second Wind' begins and ends in grandiose Rick Wakeman style with a full-blown church organ performance, and the second half of the song is dominated by Auger's organs. Mullen's guitars aren't neglected, necessary to retain a rock base, however slim, and succeed in making the latter half of 'Just You, Just Me' sound nicely optimistic, before he actually manages to impress with a very long guitar solo in the final song. As an experiment in creating popular jazz rock to appeal to a mainstream audience as well as jazz and rock fans respectively and in unison, it was unlikely that this album would succeed, but at least it isn't a total disaster.

      1. Truth
      2. Don't Look Away
      3. Freedom Jazz Dance
      4. Just You, Just Me
      5. Second Wind

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Truth
    2 Don't Look Away
    3 Somebody Help Us
    4 Freedom Jazz Dance
    5 Just You, Just Me
    6 Second Wind