On Second Thought: Crack The Sky – The Best Of The Rest [And Then Some] (1999)

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As proven by Crack The Sky, rave reactions from the press don’t always guarantee healthy record sales. Formed in the early ’70s, the West Virginia band, whose glowing reviews certainly were justified, should have been one of the biggest groups of the decade and beyond, but sadly remained housed under the radar.

Keen on investigating and embodying foreign frontiers, Crack The Sky coupled art rock perspectives with a commercial pop consciousness in a highly attractive setting. Stuffed solid with tracks that prompt repeated listens, The Best Of The Rest (And Then Some) (Winthrop Records) regularly raises a toast to the precisely sculptured soundscapes of acts like Beatles, Procol Harum, David Bowie, Genesis, Badfinger and Supertramp. Not a band to sit idle, Crack The Sky also adapted well to the new wave invasion, which makes sense since they were so inventive to begin with.

A perfect introduction to the band, The Best Of The Rest (And Then Some) launches the party off to the witty commentary of “Lost In America” that races forth with pumping rhythms and snappy hooks galore. Crossbreeding the power rock of the Who with the clipped pop beats of the Cars, here’s a song that spells hit single all the way. Further political observations are conveyed on “Mr. President,” which features a dash of bluesy harmonica work and a chanting chorus, while “Drifting Back To Motown” and “Poptown” rock with melodic force and finesse.

Bold and confident vocals, strengthened by sharp guitar moves, cool keyboard passages and taut arrangements are the winning ingredients offered by Crack The Sky. Although the band’s music is mature, polished and thoughtfully constructed, they never cease to lose sight of fun and adventure. The energy is sincere, and creative freedom rules the scene.

A stupendous slice of industrious pop rock, The Best Of The Rest (And Then Some) sparkles and vibrates with smart musicianship and tasty tunes by the score. Not only is this disc adamantly recommended by yours truly, but the band’s first three albums, “Crack The Sky,” “Animal Notes” and “Safety In Numbers” additionally register a thumbs up. Bursting with brilliance and the right attitude, Crack The Sky is a band more people should seriously be aware of.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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