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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Max Webster - A Million Vacations (1979 canada, fine prog rock)

All is silky, ethereal, and crisp as winter snow on Max's most polished piece of studio jewelry, the band's lightest footprinted excursion. A Million Vacations chimes clear as a bell, the album lovingly layered with keyboards, buoyant with bright guitars and lush, letter-perfect harmonies. Highlight of the collection comes with what proved to be the band's biggest hit Paradise Skies, a masterwerk of dynamics and uncompromising professionalism with one of the most gushingly enjoyable drum sounds ever plucked from, then tweaked for, the airwaves. 

Other aural sculptures that spot and dot Max's moving target of offbeat inversion include the whacked-out Rascal Houdi, the live and unkempt Research (At Beach Resorts), the spring water-pure Charmonium, and last but not least, the good feeling boogie rockin' title track. The sounds on this truly awesome head trip simply ebb and flow as if the band were wrapped in a dream, all the while firmly rooted in an earthly and knowing pride in its obvious accomplishment, creating high upon high, working with a shared love of quality craftsmanship, eye askance to big brothers Rush for professional guidance. 

The final result is evident within the grooves, rhythms which just sing with enthusiasm, no small thanks to the album's state-of-the-art Maxmix. As history would have it, A Million Vacations is largely considered Max Webster's quintessential, defining work, most likely due to its maturity, accessibility, and seemingly elliptical but somehow comfortable cohesion, not to mention the (Canuck) hit status of no less than four songs: Paradise Skies, copasetic pop hummer Let Go The Line, airy prog masterpiece Night Flights, and to a lesser extent the title track. But to my mind, putting side such base and shackling commercial concerns, the record is merely yet another masterpiece comprising a body of work that baffles, elates, provokes and charmingly, good-naturedly pokes fun.
by Martin Popoff

1. Paradise Skies (K. Mitchell, P. Dubois) - 3:15
2. Charmonium (Terry Watkinson) - 4:15
3. Night Flights (Watkinson, P. Dubois) - 3:02
4. Sun Voices (K. Mitchell, P. Dubois) - 4:50
5. Moon Voices (K. Mitchell) - 3:05
6. A Million Vacations (Gary McCracken, P. Dubois) - 3:10
7. Look Out (K. Mitchell, P. Dubois) - 4:53
8. Let Go The Line (Watkinson) - 3:25
9. Rascal Houdi (K. Mitchell, P. Dubois) - 3:28
10.Research (At Beach Resorts) (K. Mitchell, P. Dubois) - 4:45

Max Webster
*Kim Mitchell - Guitars, Vocals
*Gary McCracken - Drums, Percussion
*Dave Myles - Bass Guitar
*Terry Watkinson - Keyboards, Vocals

1976  Max Webster
1977  High Class In Borrowed Shoes
1978  Mutiny Up My Sleeve

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