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Comus - To Keep From Crying CD (album) cover

TO KEEP FROM CRYING

Comus

 

Prog Folk

2.75 | 74 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I am a fan of change and development in music. A band needs to develop their sound down the years to stay interesting. And besides, how could a band, as indeed any human, stand immune to developing oneself? It is nigh on impossible, if you are at all sensitive to your surroundings and personal visions. That is why I applaud daring and courage to change, maybe not always improve, but re-evaluate ones perspective.

When Comus recorded their follow up to First utterance, a brilliant piece of demented folk, they found themselves writing songs more accessible than their previous effort. The result was an album of folk rock that while not bad did not reach up to their true powers, as it would seem.

I have approached this album with care over the years, always finding myself puzzled. I could not make up my mind as to the albums contents. By Comus standards or folk rock ones, what's it's worth? I am, probably, plagued by First utterance and also Out of the coma, when I write this. The brilliance of album No.1 and album No.3 is so omnipotent and ever present that it is hard not to compare To keep from crying with these two. Yet I find it to be an injustice. You have to compe each album for what it's worth, not only in comparison to other, maybe greater discs. Still I will attempt to review the album on it's own strengths, rather than on other albums powers.

Now then, what's it like? The album is, objectively speaking, a mixed bag. There are tracks of great worth, such as the title track and "Children of the Universe". These are folk rock and haunting in a good way. Oh, and "Get yourself a man". That is a very good folk rock track aswell. These tracks do appeal to me, as a fan of folk. They are not so much in the vein of First utterance, which is good actually, since I've bellowed out my love for change. But then there are the main bulk of the album, which is so and so. "Down (like a movie star)" seems to be an attempt at askew and dementia in First utterance style, only slightly more radio friendely. For me it doesn't work. I don't like it. I could keep the title track and "Children of the Universe" and only return to the remainder of the tracks if nevessary.

In conclusion, To keep from crying is a decent folk rock album with it's moments but also alot of stuff easily forgotten. The cover of the album is intriguing and gets my attention. The Comus magic is there, as it can be found, though rather hard to detect sometimes, in the music itself. Overall, it could be said, the music differs not only in style but also in the performance, due to the fact that the instrumentation is more contemporary with alot of electrified sounds. This is not bad. Actually, the keyboard in "Get yourself a man" is quite haunting and gives the piece a somewhat uneasy feeling. That is good but it doesn't make the album any better. The material is, like I wrote, a mixed bag. It almost feels as they through it all wasn't sure of the direction in which to go. All accessible or terrifyingly askew, as previously?

The rating has to be three stars, for me. Two for the music and one for the effort. Still, the three tracks I've mentioned are top notch prog folk pieces which ought to be more recognised.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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