Ken Barnes, Phonograph Record, 1973
WITH THIS DEBUT ALBUM, 10cc are well on their way to becoming the true studio wizards of the seventies. It's a startling record, bursting with astonishing melodic shifts, almost irreconciliable extremes of ethereality and raunch, vocals ranging from piercing falsetto to the deepest basso profundities, and sufficient admirably-integrated gimmickry to satiate the most demanding aural fixation. The marvelously complex songs provide a constant jolt, keeping your attention firmly fixed upon what's transpiring on the record; but the group's evident delight in parody and sly humor keep things light and amusing. At different times they sound like Ritchie Valens or the middle period Who (around Sell Out), the Beach Boys or the synthetic schlock troops of the early 60's; you never know what's coming up next, but it's almost always mind-boggling.
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