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Strange Days - 9 Parts To The Wind CD (album) cover

9 PARTS TO THE WIND

Strange Days

 

Prog Folk

4.27 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Residing somewhere between Supertramp, Genesis, 10CC and Strawbs is this English one-shot from 1975. It's an album that grew on me after initial apathy, but on revisiting it I find it to be like the middling efforts of the above groups, in other words, there is plenty to like but a bit too much of it is not particularly noteworthy.

Tracks like the two openers "Nine Parts to the Wind"and "Be Nice to Joe Soap" are clever enough but also a bit too much in the province of the novelty song, while "Monday Morning" shows the rocking side of the group that might have best been left unexposed, not that it is bad, but it is clearly not a strength.

But the longer tracks show some brilliance in composition, songwriting, and development, and are truly progressive in a folk rock sort of way, even lyrically. The presence of good vocals, melodic acoustic and electric guitars, and organ dominated keyboards enhance "The Journey" and "The Unanimous Decision" in particular, while the closer "18 Tons" is also noteworthy, and not just for mentioning "hard core porn of the dirtiest form" in 1975.

The suites even include several forays into dancehall style (with my favourite segment in which is pronounced "In the business there aren't many of us left"), in a manner approached by contemporaries Decameron ("Jan" on "Mammoth Special") but considerably more wholeheartedly. I hear some of "The Battle of Epping Forest" in the lengthier vocal oriented sections in the level of verbosity and the backing, but that is one of my least favourite Genesis songs so forgive me if I think Strange Days handles the style better.

I see there is a Japanese CD release with 2 bonus tracks, but my comments pertain to the LP with its six original songs. It's not a strong 4 stars, but there is much to like here for the fans of Genesis-influenced symphonic with a heart of folk.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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