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Strawbs - Déjà Fou CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.15 | 34 ratings

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4 stars Deja faux? I have a hard time trying to figure out why this so called reunion album by the Ghosts era Strawbs is so enganging. It's has none of the bombastic prog of Hero and Heroine (or it's thick production) or the sweeping melodies of the songs found on Ghosts. Most of the songs are acoustic based with hauntingly beautiful string arrangements by David Kirby enhanced with touching piano by the great John Hawkin, especially on the songs If, Sunday Morning and Face Down In The Well which has chilling counter vocals from Chas Cronk alongside the melancholy lead from Dave Cousins as well as an erie violin reminiscent of the theme from the movie Schindler's List. Even the Dave Lambert penned song Cold Steel rocks hard despite the fact that the only electric instrument played on the track is the bass played by Chas Cronk with drummer Rod Coombes doing his best Bonhan immitation. It's not a far reach to suggest, as others have, that Cousins and company were so infuenced by their acoustic work that acoustic folk themes dominate this album. And why not? After all, the Strawbs were always folk-rock band at heart with 1967's unheralded Sandy and the Strawbs album All Of Our Own Work being, IMHO, the equal to anything produced by the Mamas and the Papas, the Byrds and even Fairport Convention at that early folk-rock era. Perhaps that is the reason why this unassuming album works so well on so many levels. What this album may lack in ultra slick production value is more than compensated by the qualtity of it's material. However, I do find the clumsy sound mix off putting at times as Cousins' vocals are too loud and many of Lambert's guitar solos are mixed too low. So, 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 for the old chaps.
SteveG | 4/5 |


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