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Fuchsia - Fuchsia II - From Psychedelia ... To A Distant Place CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.98 | 16 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Obscured by the obscure, beneath the vault of unlikely one off releases, stoically lies the vault of unlikely sequels to those unique denizens. Among those, few could rival this 2013 effort by FUCHSIA, on which only original leader Tony Durant remains. The 1970s version offered an appealing folksy take on Canterbury, and its followers were few. The CD re-releases probably did more to advance the steps towards reformation than any fan groundswell, as many became aware of the group for the first time. Since most sequels suffer by comparison, and 40+ years had passed, what could we expect? Not a lot, right?

Yet here we have one of the more fulfilling comebacks I can remember. I don't know how Durant has done it but he has managed to incorporate the acoustic whimsy and vivacious strings of that long ago chestnut and modernized it without plasticizing it. The songs are more instantly appealing as befits the modern era, but the themes are more serious, with an unanticipated immediacy. The arrangements are less airy than those of long ago, reflecting a density that permeates our lives with time and responsibility. No more ditties about flying kites! One of the most enjoyable aspects is Durant's insistence in taking his time throughout this release; you either take your time too or you will miss out, and that's a life lesson I think.

The best tracks here are the first 4, all brilliant, tackling all manner of modern subjects, from urban alienation in "Melancholy Road" to the clash of women's basic rights with religious extremism in "Girl from Kandahar" to isolation amidst ultimate connectivity in "Lost Generations", all arranged sympathetically There is even an memoir of sorts in "Fuchsia Song", one that anyone old enough to look back through a smoky lens can appreciate. Still, it's probably "Rainbow Song" that not only attaches both eras but ties a chromatic bow around them. The final piece, "Piper at the Gates", is also noteworthy, including a searing guitar solo as Durant explores individual and combined legacies in the face of change.

This eminently enjoyable and, we can now say, long overdue, release does not so much fill in the gaps between where Mr Durant was and where he is, but instead includes us all as passengers and participants, whether we began our journey in wartime, boom time, the psychedelic era, in the internet age, or anywhere in between. Highly recommended..

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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