Argent – Counterpoints (1975)

Argent_Counterpoint4 out of 5 Stars!

Though Argent, as a band, is not exactly “obscure,” the latter half of the band’s career (when Argent turned into a full-fledged Prog-Rock group) was indeed an obscure period in its history.

Frankly, I could never understand why this band got so slammed in the press in the mid-’70s for the slow shift from Hard Rock to Progressive Rock since it seemed a natural progression (pun intended) to me.

Regardless, Counterpoints, the band’s seventh and final studio album, was a full foray into the Prog-Rock/Jazz-Fusion genre, clearly displaying the accomplished musicianship of Rod Argent and company. Sure, guitarist Russ Ballard had left the group years earlier, and Counterpoints contained nothing in the way of the old “Hold Your Head Up” Hard Rock sound, but there was much to enjoy, with shorter, almost Prog-Pop/Art-Pop vocal tracks such as “On My Feet Again” and “Be Strong” melding into jazzy instrumentals like “I Can’t Remember, But Yes” and “It’s Fallen Off,” and lengthy compositions such as “Time” and “Road Back Home” that catered to the traditional Prog audience of the era.

Therefore, Argent’s final four albums, where the band eagerly ventured into experimental territory, is my favorite period of the group’s history, and in retrospect, seems almost criminally underrated.

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