Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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Review: Crazy World - The Return Of The Clown (2012)

Artist: Crazy World
Album: The Return Of The Clown
Year: 2012
Label: Presence/Running Moose

Review: Diego Camargo

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Thoughts: When you start to pay attention to Crazy World there are a lot of ‘weird’ things that  may come to your mind. Even more when you get The Return Of The Clown (2012) in your hands.

Firstly, no, this is not a revival of the famous Arthur Brown group as many people think.
Secondly, it’s quite unusual to see Lauri Porra, known as the Stratovarius’ bass player, involved in a project like this one.
Moreover, Crazy World is in fact a band/project. They’re a kind of ‘Finnish super group’. All the musicians involved in this project are known in their homeland. The band includes Lauri Porra (bass – Stratovarius), Mika Järvinen (vocals - Five Fifteen), Esa Kotilainen (keyboards - Wigwam, Jukka Tolenen, Tasavallan Presidenti), Anssi Nykänen (drums - Pekka Pohjola) and Timo Kämäräinen (guitar – solo).
And last but not least, The Return Of The Clown (2012) is a Rock Opera, a concept album that tells a weird story about a motorcycle riding carnival clown and his son. To help you understand that, instead of lyrics or texts, the booklet of the CD is a comic book that tells us a bit of the unexpected story.

This is the second album of the project. It was recorded between 2010 and 2012 and produced by the band. The crazy and funny cover was made by Petri Hiltunen.


When it comes to the music, The Return Of The Clown (2012) is pretty much settled into the 70’s Prog Hard Rock. They put one of their foot into the Prog waters but the other one remains on the Hard Rock solid ground. Bands like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep can be heard as influences. Songs like ‘The Clown In A Swing’ prove that.
On the other hand, tracks like ‘You’re So So Vain’ are charged with heavy-swingy wah-wah guitars (Jimi Hendrix heritage) and big Hammond organs, but with a twist on the chorus. Delicious Pop!
‘Pearls Before Swine’ continues on the same path.

‘Clown’s Gotta Go’ is a Rockabilly homage, with exception to a crazy Hammond organ solo. When the synths of ‘Mrs Politician’ kick in, you know that the Prog came back to the menu.
In the same line we have the title track ‘The Return Of The Clown’ that honestly, should be the final track on the album because ‘Lay It Down’ is a bit silly and has nothing special in it.
As bonus we have two tracks recorded live. A version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and ‘The Clown In The Swing’.

Crazy World’s The Return Of The Clown (2012) is a delicious amalgam of 70’s Hard Rock & Prog filled to the brim with fuzzy-swingy superb guitars and amazing keyboards. Moreover, that’s exactly why the shining stars of the album are Esa Kotilainen’s keyboards, Timo Kämäräinen’s guitars and the well delivered vocals of Mika Järvinen.
Only low point of the album is the drum sound, sometimes edging the irritating, like in ‘She Could Be Your Mother’ and ‘From Son To Father’.
Go for it if you’re a 70’s fan.

The band was included in our Podcast #17 and you can listen the track 'Mrs Politician' HERE.
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