Strawbs - From The Witchwood CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.01 | 170 ratings

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4 stars A band that I love a great deal. This is a good work full of moods and lyrical as well as musical landscapes. There's just something about "Strawbs" music that resonates with me very strongly. I'm not always a Rick Wakeman fan but I enjoy his contribution here very much. After this album with the band he left to join Yes and I would have loved to have heard the direction future Strawbs albums would have taken had he remained with them instead.

"A Glimpse of Heaven" - Brilliant, almost pastoral folk track that rests very easy with me when my mind seeks peace. The lyrics paint a beautiful picture supported by the music so very well. I love the use of the banjo in this one.

"Witchwood" - Gaelic feel. Dulcimer and Banjo here are very nicely and tastefully used enhancing the sound. Again the lyrics and the music are used to paint a work of art. Peaceful and entrancing.

"Thirty Days" - Reminds strongly of "the Beatles". A more bouncy piece than the previous two tracks with a lot of Sitar involvement.

"Flight" - Nice vocal harmonising on this one. Again I'm reminded of the Beatles a little although less strongly than on the previous track.

"The Hangman and the Papist" - Very nice Wakeman involvement on this one. Dramatic and powerful. The dramatic military style drumming on this adds strongly to the flavour. One of the album highlights.

"Sheep" - This is a very unsettling track for me - almost a musical horror story until the music softens with the young boy section . Very powerful lyrically and musically. Nice organ work here from Wakeman.

"Canon Dale" - Very middle-eastern in style with use of the Sitar to enhance that mood.

"The Shepherds Song" - Gentle and very pretty erotic track. Prominent Mellotron on this one as well as Moog later on.

"In among the Roses" - Fragile and very pretty. Almost a dirge.

"I'll carry on beside You" - Rousing track. Electric guitar stands out on this one.

If you're looking for energy don't look this way. This is a gentle album for the main part full of pastoral, delicate sound. It is intelligent, almost fragile, music a lot of the time. I personally enjoy the use of instruments herein that are not typically used a lot in music these days. Sheep is a track that has always disturbed me a little - it did back when it was released and it does today. For anyone interested in Rick Wakeman and his development and progress as a musician this is a must have album. For me it is a strong album where many of the tracks are pure works of art but unfortunately a few are just ok. A four rating from my side.

sukmytoe | 4/5 |


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