Lucifer's Friend

Mind Exploding

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    3
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AllMusic Review by

Sadly, this Lucifer's Friend album does not live up to its exciting title. Although it contains the ambitious stylistic shifts and powerful instrumental performances that fueled their stellar previous outing, Banquet, it unfortunately lacks the strong hooks and the stylistic cohesion that made that album so special. A key example of these problems is the opening track, "Moonshine Rider": it contains plenty of colorful instrumentation and a catchy chorus hook, but is undone by a too-dense arrangement that tries to pile on more twists and instrumental flourishes than the song can handle. As a result, its potentially strong hooks get buried and the track's various elements fail to cohere in a memorable way. Another problem with Mind Exploding is that many of the songs lack the strong melodies necessary to make the band's lush instrumental style work. For instance, "Fugitive" evokes a tense atmosphere (complete with rain sound effects) but lacks a compelling tune to provide a solid backbone for this evocative soundscape. Despite these detrimental problems, Mind Exploding does have its moments: "Blind Boy" is a rollicking rock tune with an effective call-and-response chorus, and "Yesterday's Ideal" is a stylish ballad with a strong enough melody to fit the band's grandiose instrumental style. However, these bright spots aren't enough to redeem a record that is too overdone and unfocused to end up as anything more than an interesting misfire. Ultimately, Mind Exploding can only be recommended to completists who want to hear every Lucifer's Friend album.

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