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Horslips - Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.37 | 34 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Horslips' debut album "Happy to Meet - Sorry to Part" is an excellent album and a long lost gem from the far away land of Ireland.. The music in this album is highly diverse. In a few songs you will find upbeat Irish folk jigs, another few sound like the Strawbs mixed with Oldfield, one would fit perfectly on a early NEKTAR album, and the best peice of the album is one that I wouldn't question if it was released with Wishbone Ash's debut album. But they have unique pieces too, like the bizarre "An Bratach Bán".

Alright, apparently this band came together as a prop for some kind of advert in 1970, and after doing the commercial they found that they quite liked it, and went upon the task of acquiring a guitarist. Two years later in 1971 they finally recorded a studio album, the magnificent "Happy to Meet - Sorry to Part".

The album has a very warm and intimate feel throughout, and there is no sense of tension or anybody trying to "show off". It's fairly accessible but will have the seasoned proghead coming back for more. The musicians themselves are quite good but not virtuosos, it's the way the pieces are written and how they handle they're instruments that make this album so beautiful. John Fean is an excellent guitarist, and his guitar style is similar to Wishbone Ash in this album, same sense of melody and soloing. Jim Lockhart and Charles O'Connor are the guys that make it so "Irish" with they're wide variety of traditional instruments. It's great to hear a tin whistle harmonizing with an emotional guitar melody.

As I spoke of before, the variety of musical styles in this album are huge. The Nektar-like piece is one of the four Sean Trane mentioned, "Hall of Mirrors". It sounds like late sixties psych, with a pretty laid back presentation, vocals a bit like Jim Morrison, with the suggestive drug themed lyrics and organ. The Strawbs like song would be "The Clergy's Lamentation" which is one of the best on this album. It has that trademark melancholic dark celtic-folk with guitar themes like that of ones featured on "Ommadawn" (Pure similarity of course, Oldfield came after this album). The more upbeat Irish jigs I thought I might not like, but some of them are very fun and a enjoyable listen. The best of them are "An Bratach Bán" which I could only describe with "Irish Reggae Folk". The best of the album comes in a neat little package called "Furniture" which is the Wishbone Ash like song. It features the best lyrics of the album, with a warm and insightful chorus that leads to a jam session and mounts to a majestic WA like melodic riff that will stick in your head for the day. Excellent!!

The intimate sound and odd styles on this album may not be for everybody, but it is certainly progressive in blending Irish Folk, Celtic jigs, Psychedelic rock, hard rock and reggae. Their sound has various influences, but it is far from being any type of clone, and maintain a unique style throughout the album that most will enjoy. Highly recommended.

OGTL | 4/5 |


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