Supertramp, whose Crime of the Century was a surprise hit of 1975, are back with a neatly timed followup, Crisis? What Crisis? (with suitably heady cover — a man sunbathing amid rubbish while rain falls and smokestacks blow pollution into already ominously gray skies). The biggest crisis is trying to get through both sides of this record.
Supertramp is led by guitarist Roger Hodgson and keyboard player Richard Davies who are responsible (as in guilty) for all the group’s words and music. Most of their lyrics are vignettes depicting the loss of communication among people and the absence of moral values in today’s world, leading to such stimulating conclusions as this complex couplet from “Just a Normal Day”: “Eat a lot, sleep a lot/Passing the time of day/Maybe I’ll find my way.” The band carries off the amazing trick of stretching three and four minute songs into five and six minute affairs with unison repetition of themes instead of solos. There’s even one song (“Two of Us”) that seems profoundly influenced by post-Apple George Harrison.