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Strawbs - The Broken Hearted Bride CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.53 | 54 ratings

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3 stars Pleasant at times but pretentious. The Broken Hearted Bride from 2008 finds the Strawbs attempting to make a more electric and more prog sounding album then their previous release from 2004 titled Deja Fou. However, forcing an album to sound prog is not the same as creating music that is prog. Indeed, both bass player Chas Cronk and vocalist/guitarist Dave Cousins contribute keyboards to this album as well as long time keys man John Hawken which often results in a pea soup mix of 80's style electronic keys, sampling, programming and percussion. Particularly on the slow tempo songs Too Many Angels, Through Aphrodite's Eyes and Everybody Knows.

The album's second song Christmas Cheer with it's insecent disco (yes disco!) beat and abrasive chorus may be the worst song ever written by Cousins and the title track, despite Cousins' clever lyrics about a suicide bomber leaving his wife standing at the alter, is an AOR styled rocker with an annoying guitar riff that Bon Jovi would have envied. The following song Shadowland is another boring AOR tune this time written by guitarist Dave Lambert. Even Lambert's guitar is given a grandiose Gilmour/Rothery like tone on many of the songs which is unfitting for him. The shrill high EQ'ed sound production does not help matters and does Cousins raspy voice no favors.

To be fair, the opening song Call to Action and its reprise Action Replay are two excellent prog tunes with terrific Middle Eastern melodies and rythyms, but the pea soup songs along with Shadowland are merely pleasant listens that hardly make this album essential, but what is good on the album does make for a decent postcard from Strawbs to their fans. Luckily, the Stawbs would have one more good album up their sleeve for 2009 and would end their run of original albums on a high note.

SteveG | 3/5 |


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