HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT’S ADEQUATE – One Word That Means The World (Arkhipov)

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate 2024

A musical story of a hero who prevented the madness of mutual assured destruction as told by English purveyors of progressive rock.

One Word That Means The World (Arkhipov)

It’s easy to assign the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis to successful communication between Kennedy and Khrushchev, but while that aspect of the October 1962 conflict lies on the surface there were deeper reasons for the globe not getting blown to pieces. When Soviet B-59 submarine approached the Castro-governed island, the watercraft’s crew had not heard from Moscow for a few days the vessel’s captain assumed the war might have already broken and wanted to fire a nuclear torpedo, and only Vasily Arkhipov, one of three officers required to authorize such a launch, vetoed what could be the end of the world and persuaded others to wait. This is the not-too-widely known event Malcolm Galloway and Mark Gatland wanted to spread the word about, and the London duo, not exactly famous for traditional song structures, delivered a memorable melody worthy of the story the tune’s telling.

Dramatic, yet possessed of a dance groove, “One Word That Means The World” is awash with thickly layered guitar and synthesizer waves in which the players’ unpretentious, very earthly voices are drenched to a great effect before soaring towards the chorus and gripping the listener’s very psyche. As Gatland’s bass passages bolster Galloway’s six-string lines, what may seem bluesy on the beginning is turned into a sparkling Europop piece without acquiring artificiality often associated with the genre but retaining contrast between the mundane and celestial throughout until the initial harmonics solidify to create a stunning solo. And then there’s the single’s other side “Music For Dancing” that compromises its own title via delicate piano threads weaving through the busy bottom-end’s jive and the whirl of cosmic ivories to reach relentless wonders where fusion and funk are heavily involved.

The little ensemble suggest these two cuts are not representative for the album they will land on; however, in their own right, the numbers on display shine brighter than a glitterball.


April 12, 2024

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