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Space Opera: Safe at Home

Here's another little gem from the vaults, thanks to the folks at ItsAboutMusic.com. Space Opera were a band out of Texas who formed in the late 60's, released a couple of albums in the 70's, and then fizzled before the end of the decade. Their sound doesn't really fit into any specific genre, though you can hear some prog, hard rock, blues, and country rock in their songs. Fans of Jethro Tull, Buffalo Springfield, and Bad Company would be well advised to look into this one. Safe at Home is somewhat of a compilation, as it contains songs from throughout their career in various incarnations.

Opening cuts "Singer and Sailors/Father" and "Journey's end shows the harder rocking side to the band, as each contains some sizzling guitar & organ work, while "Fly Away" is a mellower cut with some folk, blues, and pop elements. Vocals on this one sound a bit like Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, and there's some fabulous acoustic guitar layerings throughout the track. "Singers and Sailors" is more of a prog/folk track, again with acoustic guitars in the forefront plus some dreamy electric piano & flute, while "Country Max" has that California country rock sound made famous by acts such as The Eagles, Buffalo Springfield, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby Stills & Nash. They mix that flavor with some stabbing hard rock guitar on "Unless I'm Gone", and on "Over and Over" there is a strong psychedelic & prog feel, thanks to some atmospheric keyboard passages and searing lead guitar. Other highlights include the Jethro Tull/Gentle Giant styled quirky progger "Bells Within Bells", the majestic "Caledonia" (featuring some nifty strings & reeds), the folk gem "Snow is Falling", and the complex hard rocker "Play It Rough".

Overall, Safe at Home is a diverse and satisfying collection of songs from the overlooked Space Opera. David Bullock, Scott Fraser, Phil White, and Brett Wilson might have been a tad too diverse and ahead of their time with their unique sound back in the day, but there's a good chance their music will strike a chord today with those into vintage classic, prog, and country rock from the early 70's. Hopefully we'll also see some reissues of the bands earlier albums as well, as they seem to be out of print and pretty rare at the moment.


Track Listing
1. Singers and Sailors/Father
2. Journey's End
3. Fly Away
4. Singers and Sailors
5. Country Max (alt version)
6. Unless I'm Gone
7. Marlow
8. Over and Over (alt version)
9. Psychic Vampire
10. Bells Within Bells
11. Still Life
12. Caledonia
13. Snow Is Falling
14. Play It Rough
15. Squeeze Play

Added: January 23rd 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: ItsAboutMusic
Hits: 1671
Language: english

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