[Review] Caravan – It’s None Of Your Business

Caravan certainly needs no introduction, having been in business since 1968, they have contributed to making music great for over 50 years and pioneered Canterbury-style Prog sounds. With only Pye Hastings left in the lineup, after a wait of 8 years they release the new album “It’s None Of Your Business” on October 21, 2021 via Madfish Music. 10 tracks ranging from 3 to over 9 minutes in duration, whose musical style encompasses all the facets of the band from its origins to today. It is clear that the expectations from a band like this are always very high, times have changed the sounds instead are always sought after but a little softer, but no less pleasant. The album opens with “Down from London” with the violin immediately in evidence and Folk Prog atmospheres that mix with quality Pop. The sounds are warm and enveloping and the vocal is delicate as always, a track that gently plunges us into the atmosphere of the disc, even the guitar solo at the end is pleasant. “Wishing You Were Here” follows, more incisive in the sound of the previous one, with a more markedly Prog style that at times mixes with the soft melodies of the band. Closer to the style of the past, with some heavier forays especially in the central part where a guitar solo stands out. In the second part the keyboards are highlighted for a crescendo ending with a fine organ solo. Here we are at the title track “It’s None of Your Business” which is also the longest track, which offers a mixture of different genres and styles, starting from a beginning of Folk Prog matrix. In the first part it vaguely recalls the soft sounds of the 70s, and then develops the theme with violin inserts and tempo changes along which guitar and piano intertwine. In the central part it is transformed with a passage of classical music and then returns to the main theme of the piece and to the sung. Pleasant but from a track of over 9 minutes and from Caravan above all we expect more, the execution technique is indisputable but the track is in my opinion a bit static. “Ready or Not” begins with violin melodies, with a more decisive approach and a warm and expressive vocal, the rhythm session is solid and the track more incisive. The union of Rock with Folk and the viola inserts is interesting, the sounds are positive and engaging. “Spare a Thought” is an acoustic ballad full of pathos and dreamy sounds, where in the finale we find a short solo that closes the piece. Pleasant and delicate, with a background of strings that accompanies us throughout the piece. “Every Precious Little Thing” is a more Pop than Prog track, with a good use of the organ but closer to the song, with a good instrumental section in the middle and a good solo. I find it very distant from the sounds that are expected from this band, where the solos are the best part of the song. “If I Was to Fly” is a mix of Country and Soft Rock, the execution is as always impeccable, but the Prog sounds not received, the Canterbury ones even less. We are at another longer track, over 8 minutes “I’ll Reach Out for You” in the first part recalls the style of Dire Straits with the addition of the organ. Here we are already closer to the Caravan style in their softer version, with tempo changes that lead us towards Folk. Despite the long duration the track does not present the great instrumental evolutions that are expected from them, but it is a song with an extended timing. “There Is You” is a very well interpreted and acoustic piece, where there are passionate intertwining of the voice with a deep bass and the piano. Not really Prog, but certainly one of the most interesting and passionate tracks on the record. The album “Luna’s Tuna” closes with an instrumental where the intertwining of strings and piano lead us to the end, tracing the sounds of the previous one without, however, the vocal. Finding here the sounds of the Canterbury Scene and the Caravan of the golden years is difficult, as the band has turned to a softer musical proposal, with Folk inserts and the violin in evidence. The vocal test is good, the precision and the executive technique are indisputable, but a more refined and incisive sound is expected from a band that has made the history of Prog. Overall, listening is pleasant if faced without pretending to find intricate instrumental passages or overly elaborate sounds. I do not find this change of direction exceptional, but a good listening without too many frills or pretensions.

Tracklist

01. Down from London (4:03)
02. Wishing You Were Here (3:55)
03. It’s None of Your Business (9:40)
04. Ready or Not (4:45)
05. Spare a Thought (4:06)
06. Every Precious Little Thing (4:25)
07. If I Was to Fly (3:23)
08. I’ll Reach Out for You (8:07)
09. There Is You (4:26)
10. Luna’s Tuna (3:14)

Lineup

Pye Hastings / Guitar and Vocals
Geoffrey Richardson / Viola, Mandolin and Guitar
Jan Schelhaas / Keyboards
Mark Walker / Drums

With:
Lee Pomeroy
/ Bass
Jimmy Hastings / Flute

Caravan |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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