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Trees - On The Shore CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.60 | 83 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Trees was an also ran of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and even Spirogyra, and for good reason. Their interpretations of traditional material were dreary, drowning their spirit in a saturated solution of droning improvisation. The beautiful voice of Celia Humphris has no emotional range whatsoever, and as such, any comparisons to contemporary greats are superficial.

Having said all of this, the group seems to do best with original material like "Murdoch" and "Fool", where they inject a Gothic atmosphere into albeit trad-inspired melodies and where the improvisation has a more suitably jammy character. This is where they go beyond what the better known bands were doing at the time while retaining the all important interest factor. Unfortunately, for every achievement in this regard, there is a droning "Streets of Derry" or "Sally Free and Easy. For a more concise and entrancing version of the latter, listen to Alan Stivell on "Reflets". "While the Iron is Hot" is another Boshell-penned composition that is better than most on the album, other than a horribly misplaced heavy guitar solo in the middle.

While Trees took some chances and are to be commended for that, they also lost too much in the translation and suffered from arrangements that were not reined in when necessary, a virtually total lack of melodic instinct, as well as the aforementioned vocal weaknesses. This places them firmly in the third rung of UK folk rock bands, stranded on the shore of mediocrity.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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