The Flying Caravan – I Just Wanna Break Even: Album Review

Our musical prog journey around the world now takes us to Spain with the second release from  The Flying Caravan who pay a nod to our  Canterbury prog sound of the 70’s.  

Release date: 11th January 2021

Label: Paella Records

Format:   CD/ streaming

I Just Wanna Break Free comes with a heavy dose of the  Canterbury sound. One that was germinated through bands like  Caravan who fused jazz and melodic tones to produce flowing instrumentals mixing rock, acoustic and orchestral soundscapes.  Flying  Caravan replicates those sounds blending in a touch of Genesis. Fans of Renaissance, led vocally by Bolton-born Annie Haslam, will enjoy the vocal performance of  Izaga Plata .

Your listening stamina will also be put to the test with 4 of the first CD’s tracks averaging over 6 minutes and the final track’s opus The Bumpy Road To Knowledge reaching 16+ minutes.  The second CD is dedicated to the 7 part  A Fairytale For Grown-ups and just in case you hadn’t had enough, the second version of A Bumpy Road To Knowledge .

The fairy tale opens with the instrumental Northern Lights ( did I mention Renaissance?). The gentle strumming has a distinctly warm Mediterranean flavour livened up with jazzy keyboards which now motor along in a more Canterbury Caravan style. Part II enlightens us to the dilemma of the tale. Homelessness caused by unexpected circumstances causing a re-adjustment, the answer being sought in a cold, unfamiliar and alien place.

Despite the heavy investment in your listening time so far you will be rewarded by some excellent guitar and keyboard work, particularly on part III Solitude Defective Order. The fairy tale ends with four shorter tracks. The first of which is The World Turned Over (And I Couldn’t Hang On). This beautiful dreamily sung song sums up the topsy turviness of life, having to change course when a journey towards satisfaction is interrupted. In fact, the whole fairy tale  seems to focus on the constant striving and soul searching we experience .

Part V, Moonlight Labyrinth is another instrumental having more funky influences here, with a bass opening developing into Latin-style guitar solo with bluesy keyboards. The penultimate track is more upbeat and angrily pokes the finger at the negative influences from the United States media, global politicians and religion, and their attempts to brainwash a consumer-focussed need to buy into their philosophy.

The final part of the tale comes to the conclusion that  ‘love’ is the answer so like all good fairy tales we all live happily ever after and happy is how you’ll feel after listening to The Flying Caravan whose vibrant arrangements maintain the warmth and charm of 70’s prog with noodling keyboards, free-spirited guitar work. Throughout you’ll discover light touches to many of your favourites.

Guitarist, Antonio Valiente and vocalist Izaga Plata have a clear vision for their music.  This album and a  previous release in 2017 where they’re joined by Pedro Pablo Molina: Bass, Juan José Sánchez: Keyboards, Lluís Mas: Drums & Percussion show a developing and unique sound. Exceptional contributions by Manolo Salido (sax), Juan Carlos Aracil (flute) and Jorge Aniorte (vocals) add colour and texture to this multi-layered piece of music which after an initial listen you will want to revisit.

The Flying Caravan online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube / Bandcamp

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