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Album Review

By 1972, the magical aura that once surrounded Quintessence had long since dissipated, just as the band itself had shed much of the evocative panache that characterized their greatest moments. One more album on the unfamiliar pastures of RCA was not going to correct their decline, but Self emerged a delight regardless, chiefly courtesy of the live second side that caught the band in full flight at Exeter University. Despite being just two songs long (""Freedom"" and ""Water Goddess""), the performance rolls back the years so effectively that the faintly workaday weight of side one is barely even relevant to the album's glory. There, of course, the band's customary blending of Indian mantra and jazzy heartbeats is as eclectic as ever, and the only downside is that the group has not really moved on from its original vision.

Self, Quintessence
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