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Brother Where You Bound (Remastered)

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Album Review

When vocalist-guitarist Roger Hodgson left Supertramp after 1982's ...famous last words..., few could have guessed that the band would continue and solidify its pop-oriented songcraft, let alone re-embrace its progressive-rock roots on 1985's underrated Brother Where You Bound. With vocalist-keyboardist Rick Davies firmly in control — he wrote all the music and lyrics — the album examined tensions at the tail end of the Cold War. In a thematic sense, Brother Where You Bound is dated and hasn't aged very well — Davies' politically oriented lyrics are heavy-handed — but the music is a pleasure. The crystalline sound of the album, particularly Davies' piano, is breathtaking; kudos to co-producers David Kershenbaum and Supertramp and engineer Norman Hall. The hit single "Cannonball" is a jazz-rock delight, especially in full-length album form. Lyrically, it can be interpreted as Davies' feelings of betrayal at Hodgson's departure, but the piano, percussion and horns are superb. Saxophonist John A. Helliwell, bass guitarist Dougie Thomson, and drummer Bob Siebenberg all contribute vital parts, as does guest trombonist Doug Wintz. "No Inbetween" begins with a lovely, bittersweet percussion (or synthesizer?) and piano melody. "Better Days" is a rather bleak look at the unfulfilled promises of the "good life" in Western society; the dramatic music is highlighted by guest Scott Page's flute solos. The fantastic title track examines Cold War paranoia and clocks in at more than 16 minutes; after the creepy opening narration taken from George Orwell's 1984, the song becomes a composite of several complex prog-rock "movements." Pink Floyd's David Gilmour contributes the searing, distorted guitar solos. Unfortunately, Brother Where You Bound never received the attention it deserved; it isn't a perfect album, but it was a gutsy project for Supertramp to take on.

Customer Reviews

Brother Where You Bound

Darker than their previous works with a harder edge to both the music & lyrics after the departure of Roger Hodgson. Still enjoyable to listen to & it retains their distictive sound. Title track is outstanding with the distinctive sound of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour on guitar.

An overlooked gem

Rick really took the bull by the horns on this one. There is some fantastic playing and the songwriting is right up there. The stellar production makes it a joy to listen to as well. The title track is outstanding, Cannonball is a great rollicking number and Ever Open Door sounds like a message to Roger that he would always be welcomed back. Sadly, for one reason or another, that has never happened. I'm sure (mis)management has had something to do with that.

Biography

Formed: 1969 in England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Supertramp followed an unusual path to commercial success in the 1970s, fusing the stylistic ambition and instrumental dexterity of progressive rock with the wit and tuneful melodies of British pop, and the results made them one of the most popular British acts of the '70s and ‘80s, topping the charts and filling...
Full bio
Brother Where You Bound (Remastered), Supertramp
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