CD Magical Hat (CD 15649437),
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Magical Hat

  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 7502283

  • Credits

    Uncanny re-creations of '60s and '70s British pop are the specialty of Beagle Hat, a Japanese band whose musicianship and attention to detail place them on a higher plane than most revival acts. Their invitation to David Paton of Pilot to sing all the tracks on their 2006 album Magical Hat was an inspired move, and the result is Paton's best album since Pilot's heyday. The musical references, which take the form of sounds and styles rather than direct quotations, begin to fly almost immediately. The opening song, "Casgabarl!," is constructed in movements like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and the guitar solo is an homage to Brian May. Paton's "Goldmine" is a remarkable re-creation of the Pilot sound; the only thing missing is the handclaps. Just as remarkable is the ability of Beagle Hat's Hisa Tanaka and Takeo Kurashina to write songs that sound almost exactly like something from a '70s-era Pilot album. The lovely acoustic song "After the Typhoon" and the poppy "Fairyland" easily could have been written by Paton. Even the slightly off-kilter lyrics -- a result of the English-as-a-second-language lyricists -- don't sound out of place considering that many of Pilot's lyrics had a peculiar quality, too. Beagle Hat cites the Beatles, Pilot, Queen, and Yes as their main influences, and all are audible to some degree on Magical Hat. The ever-present vocals of David Paton keep bringing it back to Pilot, though, which is a delight for fans of that under-appreciated band. The bonus track on the Japanese edition is a brief reprise of "Casgabarl!" with ambient noises. ~ Greg Adams

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