Albums In My Collection
– Air Conditioning
– Air Cut
– Second Album
For some reason I had put off checking out this band for many decades. Not sure of exactly the reason why, but I suspect it had to do with a trusted someone once telling me that they were nothing but wimpy progressive folk rock and, in my mind, that equaled boring. Despite knowing that Eddie Jobson was once in their line-up, I had always avoided this band based on that original caveat.
But just recently, I chanced to hear their material from the early 70s and, although not completely blown away, I certainly wasn’t bored. Granted their brand of progressive rock isn’t the sort that really gets my blood flowing (nothing like Gentle Giant or IQ, for example) but it’s more than pleasant enough, especially with the talented vocalist named Sonja Kristina at the helm.
Since my recent discovery, I’ve delved into Curved Air’s back catalogue and can now call myself a fan, especially of the albums Phantasmagoria and Air Cut, which are both better than average. When it comes to their softer material, they remind me of Renaissance, yet their liberal use of violin, electric guitar, organ and synthesizers, along with a fondness for bouncier rhythms and some experimental instrumentation on other tracks, sets them apart from the other band. Nevertheless, Sonja’s tone, range, and vocal delivery has a lot in common with Annie Haslam’s, thereby making comparisons between the two bands inevitable.
Regardless, thanks but no thanks to that friend of mine from years ago who gave me bad advice about Curved Air. I’m glad I finally took the chance and judged their early albums for myself, discovering not wimpy progressive folk rock, but a female-led Prog-Rock band that were unique in many respects and quite adventurous upon occasion—just take a listen to the track “Over And Above” from Phantasmagoria, for example, and see what I mean.