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Strawbs - Grave New World CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 355 ratings

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5 stars Strawbs is a fantastic band and this is probably their best album. Compare it to Queen´s "Night at the opera" and you will find that? well, it doesn't sound like Queen at all, but the album´s are arranged with pretty much the same kind of craziness. Its a real adventure to listen through Grave New World, cause just like "Night at the Opera", it got so many different kind of songs and every one of them offers something new to listener, may it be a political folk song, an epic mellotron-smelling aggression song, a loony barbershop-ish song or metallic roaring guitars. With Grave New World Strawbs created a real rollercoaster of an album, but still it all fits together so fantastically well.

The album is blessed with one of the finest opening tracks I know, the organ loaded "Benedictus", and ends with the calm piano song "The Journeys End". Like seeing the sun rise in the morning and settle in the evening, it gives the album a great frame! In between waits lots of great tracks, not a single album filler! I will mention some of them. For fans of the odd side of Beatles and George Harrison you have "Is it today my lord?" with some smooth sitar playing and a slightly spiritual mood. For people waiting for the unexpected and crazy you have the barber shop-ish "Ah me, ah my" and fans of more heavy rock will get their fix when listening to the angry "Tomorrow!" with howling guitar and Deep Purple-ish organ playing. "Hey, little man?" is divided in two songs and are great, relaxing tracks about stop caring about problems for an hour or two. And to take a pause of stress and misery is pretty fitting on a crazy album like this, especially the second one of the two parts which comes after the epic and mind blowing "New World". Dave Cousin sings his heart out on this mellotron heavy gigant of a song, adding a lot of drama and frustration to the text. It really is one of those songs which grabs hold of the listener and doesn't release until the end of the song.

It hard to say if there is a best track of the album, which I often like to see as a proof of a really good album. But I think the greatest one of them would be "The flower and the young man", a really touching song with great song melody and wonderful arrangements. Is more sad than most songs on the album, yet more colorful.

All in all, Grave New World is a majestic and powerful record, full of adventure and beauty! Its not hard at all to get into, but it offers most things a prog fan could ask for!

BatBacon | 5/5 |


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