Grand Funk Railroad
Closer To Home


5.0
classic

Review

by Phil G. USER (9 Reviews)
December 10th, 2011 | 19 replies | 4,434 views


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Closer to Home is a blues-rock epoch, mired in existential truths. It’s an album about someone else’s life.

If you were a bastard born between 1940 and 1950 in the Midwest, you know that Grand Funk Railroad is closer to blues than funk. Grand Funk Railroad… their name is immaterial; their sound, on the other hand, is the stuff of legends. Closer to Home is a blues-rock epoch that is mired in existential truths. It’s an album about someone else’s life.

“Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother” starts out the album. Musically, it’s a dance with the devil. Lyrically, it’s everything one could want in a rock song, but at the same time, it has things that one could never hear on the radio. The content of the song’s lyrics are constantly in flux, as the singer belts a deep sense of alienation with man, God, and law. The song’s climax is, “You say we need a revolution? It seems to be the only solution.”

“Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother” reflects the naiveté of a young man’s mind, whereas “Nothing is the Same,” the next song, is a song about coming to grips with the real world that a young man inevitably feels.

While Adam wrote a preponderance of his songs about his Eve and his sinfulness, Grand Funk Railroad followed suit on Closer to Home. “Aimless Lady” is a hard-dicked blues-rock jam in the middle of this album. “Mean Mistreater” is another direct consequence of Mark Farner’s “thing” for flings, a spoken word-broken heart song. “Get It Together” is a soulful semi-instrumental follow-up to “Mean Mistreater” that betrays the band’s southern, apparently gospel, influences. While “I Don’t Have to Sing the Blues” alludes to finding the right woman, “Hooked on Love” is about finally finding love.

In conclusion... the song-writing brilliance of this album comes at its ends, with “Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother” coming at the beginning and “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home (Medley)” at the end.

In “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home (Medley)," the narrator’s choice of a first person is a captain on a ship. The captain is about to lose his ship. My interpretation of this lyrical device is that the captain is a person who lived a free life and the ship that he is about to lose is his life. It’s a song about the conclusion of life.

The man laments:
I can feel the hands of a stranger tightening around my throat
Heaven help me/Heaven help me
Take this stranger from my boat
I’m your Captain/I’m your Captain
Though I am feeling mighty sick

Life is full of choices, and the directions which one takes are reflected in this epic song.

The song resolves with “Closer to Home.” “Closer to Home” is as light, airy, and spacious as the rest of this record was dense. It is the humble opinion of this sputbro that “Closer to Home” is about the promise of heaven. Life after death.

I would recommend listening to the entire album from start to finish, in order to receive its full effect. "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home (Medley)" is often played by itself, but to grasp its stirring significance one must put it in its original context -- at the end of a rich tapestry of a rock and roll record that beckons the listener to consider their own life, their own choices...



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Activista anti-MTV
December 10th 2011



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

13 rates = indie

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2011



20365 Comments


GFR rules. Props for reviewing this.

Activista anti-MTV
December 10th 2011



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, I reviewed it after one of my friend's grandparents got me into it

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2011



6003 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

kudos for reviewing this, the record is awesome.

will read later.

Digging: Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez

TheNotrap
December 10th 2011



8035 Comments


I definitely need to check this.
On my classic rock digs list.

Digging: Savage Grace - Master Of Disguise

Activista anti-MTV
December 10th 2011



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you are a fan of any of the recommended albums I suggested, you should like this... what's nice about this one is that it is a true original, not a carbon copy. Also, it's got a deeper significance to it. This guy lived this album, pretty crazy

Haz
December 10th 2011



268 Comments


Grand Funk Railroad paved the way for Jefferson airplane, which cleared the way for Jefferson starship. The stage was now set for the Alan Parsons project, which I believe was some sort of hovercraft.

Activista anti-MTV
December 10th 2011



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah but you forgot about Gretzky #99. Then came the Mighty Ducks. And so we have EMILIO

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2011



6003 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

First six Grand Funk Railroad albums are the shit.

Activista anti-MTV
December 10th 2011



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes it's sonic

Jethro42
December 10th 2011



12391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm your Captain is a gorgeous song. I probably know some other songs of theirs if they got some airplay.

sublimefan1991
December 10th 2011



754 Comments


this is one of the very few records my dad likes that i do to. "nothing is the same" is pretty unknown, but has a fuckin sweet riff.

Activista anti-MTV
December 10th 2011



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the comments! I appreciate it.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2011



31085 Comments


Grand Funk Railroad paved the way for Jefferson airplane, which cleared the way for Jefferson starship. The stage was now set for the Alan Parsons project, which I believe was some sort of hovercraft.


Saw that episode only a few days ago


Digging: Banks - Goddess

manosg
September 30th 2013



5916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Surprised to see this one has a review. Don Brewer is an awesome drummer.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2013



19642 Comments


good stuff

manosg
October 30th 2013



5916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bands such as this one, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Canned Heat or even Lynyrd Skynyrd hardly get the love they deserve on here.

MrSirLordGentleman
May 3rd 2014



4272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'M GETTING CLOSEEEEER TO MY HOOOOOOOOOOOOOME

This band had such an insane line-up

Digging: Weezer - Weezer

manosg
May 4th 2014



5916 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Those guys were damn intense and energetic.



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