CAN after Damo
Juan Mobili | Valley Cottage, NY USA | 07/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Babaluma" is not a classic, yet it actually follows one--Future Days--and, if that was not enough pressure, their singer Damo Suzuki had left to join Jehova's Witnesses. But then again, CAN created challenges when they did not happen naturally, so this became just another adventure--I believe--for the German quartet.
With vocals assigned now to the four core members of the band--Karoli taking most of the otherwise limited singing parts--CAN forged ahead and still produced a commendable album.
I don't know whether this is directly related Damo's departure or not, but one clear change in the band's sound is a more prominent role for Karoli's guitar--that can be subtle, sincopated or just wail, at all the appropriate times.
The standout tracks, to my taste, are "Dizzy Dizzy" and "Come Sta, La Luna," two songs that begin their path in ways you may seem to recognize, if familiar with Ege Bamyasi or Future Days, and then develop into their own little universes.
The jam quality of "Splash" is also worth much attention, and the last cut "Quantum Physics" might remind you of earlier albums's long-explored mood pieces.
All in all, this is not the glorious material of Tago Mago or the other two beauties already mentioned, yet it is a solid album. You don't need to be a completist to want this title in your collection, although it would not be where I'd start either."
Steve | By DUNDEE Scotland | 03/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've listened to a few of Can's major albums, and Soon Over... is for me the most consistently enjoyable listen. Whereas other Can albums are too sprawling/eclectic (Ege Bamyasi), too short (Future Days) or just too plain weird (Tago Mago), Soon Over strikes the right balance between accessibility and experimentation. The fact that Damo Suzuki has left makes little difference- his departure was hardly like Syd Barrett leaving the Floyd, and anyway, Can's music is primarily instumental, so it's easy enough to work around Damo's absence.
The album has a fairly jazzy and ethereal sound compared with the more strident rythms of Ege Bamyasi. It has the mellow feel of Future Days, but with more stylistic variety and musical colour. The opener, Dizzy Dizzy has a lovely stuttery vocal which is mimicked by Leibzeit's rhythm, while it showcases Schmidt's violin playing. Come Sta, La Luna is like a slow tango, with some film samples and some nice guitar playing from Karoli. Splash continues the Latin feel with its percussion, but is offset with a squalling violin, before half-way through, the track mellows out slightly, where some nice 70s synth washes come in accompanied by Karoli's guitar playing, like a jazzier Pink Floyd. Chain Reaction is a very odd, but brilliant, funk/disco marathon. Its disco, but not as we know it, that is, filtered through Can's peculiarly idiosyncratic sensibility. Propelled by an insistent 4/4 rhythm, before slowing down a couple of times to a funky strut, the track closes with some frazzled freak-out guitar and percussion. The closer, Quantum Physics, is an ambient track which rounds things off fairly well.
Overall, I don't feel that Can's albums always quite hit the heights that they ought to (mainly, I think, because they're too short, and leave the listener feeling short-changed). But nonetheless, Soon Over... is the Can album I'd recommend."