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Strawbs - Bursting At The Seams CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.59 | 182 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After excellent prog folk albums From The Witchwood and Grave New World, STRAWBS turned slightly into more radio-friendly rock, but not TOO much; this is still a fairly good album with some tracks that are among their best. It's not a crime to change one's style during the career - even several times - if it all works well. Maybe Ghosts (1975) is the last good Strawbs album (I'm only guessing actually...), but you can count Bursting At The Seams in their halcyon days.

'Flying' is a nice, airy opener and the happy spirit continues with 'Lady Fuschia'. 'Stormy Down' and 'Lay Down' are the two radio hit attempts that progheads despise. I'm not fond of them either. Richard Hudson and John Ford (who later made songs as Hudson Ford) are responsible of 'Part of the Union', a spirit-lifting singalong worker's song. Ok, have to admit that there are many things here done for a big audience, but that's only the other side of the coin. Marvelous 'Down by the Sea' and 'The River' could grace any Strawbs album. On the Halcyon Days compilation their order is reversed which indeed seems more natural (first the river, then the sea!). The most "arty" track is 'Tears and Pavan'. The first half is a gorgeous, slow-tempo song with good ol' Mellotron and the latter half is inspired by centuries old dance music and features harpsichord. 'Thank You' is a naiive ending track featuring notably "bad" singing by a crowd of kids and Dave Cousins, but it is somehow charming. In all this album is stretching a bit too much into commercial, easy territories but for its highlights deserves three stars.

Matti | 3/5 |


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