Atlantis

Atlantis [1973]

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Atlantis' debut album follows firmly in the footsteps of the earlier Frumpy, with one major difference: shorter songs. Just three of the seven tracks break the five-minute barrier, only one -- the defiantly Deep Purple jazz-rocky "Living at the End of Time" -- approaches ten. But Atlantis rises regardless. The closing ballad, "Words of Love," essentially predicts Heart's entire career, while the funky overtures of "Get Up," colliding with some of Inga Rumpf's finest, gutsiest vocals, would have made a sensational FM radio favorite. The latter portion of "Living at the End of Time," once the band drops the jazz-rock elitism, is spellbindingly fairyland folky, and both "Rock 'n' Roll Preacher" and "Maybe It's Useless" show a Free influence that is quite spectacular. And that, if there is a downside, is where the disappointments lie. At their best, Frumpy's forte lay in their ability to fly off at monstrous tangents without ever losing sight of such notions as melody, cohesion, and discipline. The tangents are less pronounced here, the exploration is less bold and forthright. But the performances are as strong as ever, the songwriting is even stronger, and Inga Rumpf draws out some of her strongest vocals yet to power the band to some brilliant highs.

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