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Strawbs - Grave New World CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 355 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album has some fabulous moments, some average moments, and some that are completely forgettable. Because of this inconsistency, I really can't see this album as a masterpiece. The longer songs (and by long, I mean over 4 minutes), should be enjoyable to most proggers, but the shorter songs mostly likely will only appeal to those who really appreciate prog folk. Thus, I'll give this 4 stars for its contribution to the genre, but I won't highly recommend it.

The highlights. Benedictus kicks things off, and it's really a great tune: pleasant melody, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and nice vocal harmonies. Queen of Dreams has a very spacey feel to it, with a psychadelic bit in the middle, and is pretty decent. An energetic guitar/vocal duo marks Heavy Disguise, and the lyrics are also quite good. Then we have the absolute highlight: New World. Raw and emotional, this tune is an auditory microcosm of the slighted/anger/forgiveness process. Absolutely inspired stuff, with tons of mellotron to boost the effect. There are a couple additional noteworthy tunes: The Flower & the Young Man (shows The Strawbs' symphonic side as well as their excellent vocal harmonies) and Tomorrow (the hardest rocking tune on the album, and a formidable one, at that).

The lowlights? Well, there's only one blunder, and that's the Leave-it-to-Beaver-esque Ah Me, Ah My. The rest is (in my opinion), boring, simple, and uninspiring folk. The longer songs could have been linked better, which could have been done by the shorter songs, but that isn't accomplished, and the shorter songs don't stand by themselves very well.

If you don't mind an inconsistent album, go for Grave New World. You'll find enough to justify your money, but just know that there is also a great deal of average material as well.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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