Frampton Comes Alive!
1976/1987: A&M 75021 6505 2
I couldnt give any manner of informed review of this album, being merely a person who likes music and to celebrate it; also, the album came out when I was 10 years old and therefore was somewhat stamped into my musical psyche at least peripherally thanks to its hits (and they were monster hits for radio play back then). Instead I can only note that this is a pretty good taste of a not-very-hard-rock rock concert of the 1970snot of the experience of being at the concert, unless you have a joint handy and are already fairly well disengaged from the pace of daily lifea concert that has room for something as relatively quiet as the sweet little guitar instrumental Penny for Your Thoughts (although even that is punctuated by yelps and whoops from the stoked crowd). My own perspective puts this in a special listening room with Kisss Alive!, itself a quite thrilling trip into a harder-rocking concert of the day. Framptons music is more musical than Kisss, less formulaic, but his group (and consequently the audio experience) is much looser and more unfocused by comparison.
Do You Feel Like We Do IS what this album is all about, now, the concert in miniature even: a slightly groovy rock number that the crowd gets into right away, it gets down to business doing the whole rock-song thing for awhile and has a beaut of a simple chorus for all to groove on, but then the instrumental jams and solos begin and at their core is Framptons talk box guitar/voice manipulation (where electric guitar solo and scat merge spellbindingly in the hands/mouth of the artist). That isnt the tracks zenith, merely its mesmerizing and slow rocket-flight you can practically FEEL the audiences enchantment with that solo, but Frampton and the band still bring the track up a bit higher on its climb and arc into the climax superbly.
I suppose I should mention that I do NOT play this one idly (especially the closing track) or as filler while Im doing anything else: especially on headphones, it provides such a magical transportation to its actual moment that that moment still commands my attention. And while Framptons voice is nothing special in itself, it still delivers the necessary goods here and is therefore integral.
Comments © 2010 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.