On my third listen this evening and I suppose it's quite poignant given today's news.
Side one which consists of the title track, split into 7 "movements" is, as you'd expect, a complex, possibly self indulgent, but immaculately performed and produced piece of music. The classical influence is obvious, but there are some nice rock licks in there too, and TBH, there's not too much noodling. the lyrics come across as somewhat pseudo-intellectual, but they do at least tell a story (of a dystopian, post nuclear strike future) Greg, actually had a quite pleasing voice. You can definitely imagine dwarves in Green make up dancing around a polystyrene Stonehenge though...
Side 2 is more conventional.
The opening track, Jeremy Bender reminds me of some of McCartneys stuff, specifically Maxwells Silver Hammer. The lyrics are quite funny and it's a jaunty little thing with the honky tonk piano. Apparently it was ELPs take on Oh Susannah...
Bitches Crystal also has the honky tonk piano thing going on, but it's much more frantic. God knows what it's about, Witches and shit.
The Only Way starts out with an elegiac church organ, but the honky tonk piano is still there. And some Jazz influence without a doubt. This track is basically an atheist hymn, as
"Can you believe
God makes you breathe?
Why did he lose
Six million Jews?"
"Don't need the word
Now that you've heard
Don't be afraid
Man is man-made"
make more than obvious.
A Time And A Place is more in tune with the stuff on side 1, hammond organ heavy, but more rock driven. The lyrics are a plea for help for the protagonist to achieve some kind of enlightenment, which may or may not tie in with the preceding track.
Are You Ready Eddy is a proper old fashioned rock 'n' roll belter, back to the honky tonk piano, this time channelling Jerry Lee Lewis. Listening to the lyrics, it seems Eddy is a sound engineer, references to scully, faders, sixteen tracks and the chorus has the repeated line "Eddy edit, Eddy Eddy edit". It's good fun, actually.
Overall, I hated side 1 on my first listening, somewhat overcame the hate on the second and by today could actually listen without prejudice, as they say. To me, it's still a bit self indulgent and overblown, and dancing green dwarf enabling, but I could actually sit through it without having to restrain myself from kicking the stereo in.
Side 2 is ok, a lot more accessible. I actually liked it... especially Are You Ready Eddy.
It's not the pile of shite I initially thought it was. But there is the possibility I'm being nice because Greg croaked it today...