Monday, March 24, 2008

Supertramp - Even In the Quietest Moments (1977)

While, on the whole not as strong or consistent as Crime of the Century or Crisis? What Crisis?!; Even in the Quietest Moments has some absolutely brilliant moments and gave glimpses of the musical brilliance yet to come with their 1979 masterpiece, Breakfast in America.

The album starts with a bit of a surprise, Give a Little Bit. Supertramp has never been considered much of a guitar-oriented band-- so starting an album off with the acoustic guitar driven Give a Little Bit is a rather ballsy move. A move that however paid off as Give a Little Bit remains an FM classic rock radio staple to this day. The album also closes with a bang; arguably one of their most adventurous and daring songs, Fool's Overture. Clocking in at just under eleven minutes, Fool's Overture is an homage to all the prophets of history who were seen as fools in their own time, their brilliance often not realized until after their prophecies came to fruition. The song is beautiful, melodic, and quite touching.

Supertramp has never been a band that's been easy to pigeonhole. They've often been considered "progressive rock" by the mainstream, but at the same time rarely do the get mentioned in the same breath as groups like Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Genesis, Rush, Caravan, or even Starcastle. Perhaps the biggest difference between Supertramp and groups that are traditionally considered to be progressive rock is the emotive level of Supertramp's music. Most progressive rock is considered "thinking man's music" largely due to the technical prowess of the musicians which perform it. Supertramp in contrast have often been able to generate not just an appreciation of their technique but also genuine emotion. And even though it's not as strong as many of their other albums, Even In the Quietest Moments is no exception. The music is poignant, almost like an old friend reminding you he/she is there. You may not need that old friend right now, but it's always nice to know you have a friend like Supertramp when you need it.

Perhaps what keeps this album from attaining the high quality of Crime of the Century or Crisis? What Crisis?! is that with only seven songs clocking in at only forty-three minutes, the album merely whets the appetite whereas the two previous albums not only whet the appetite but sated the musical hunger of the listener. With the album ending on such a strong note with Fool's Overture it really leaves you wanting more making the album feel as though it has ended far too abruptly.

Related Links
Give a Little Bit

From Now On

Fool's Overture


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Rockandrollguru said...

While Crime of the Century is generally regarded as their defining album, I've always preferred Even in the Quietest Moments and Crisis.