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Red Jasper - Sting In The Tale CD (album) cover

STING IN THE TALE

Red Jasper

 

Prog Folk

3.20 | 9 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This early Red Jasper album contains fewer of the warm celtic tinged atmospheres of their later works like "Midsummer Night's Dream", but is certainly not devoid of them. Overall what we have here is a lot more driving rock with blues, boogie, jazz, and yes, folk elements sprinkled into the mix. Whether it becomes a preferred RJ album for you depends on your tastes. Personally I find this a lot less distinctive. Only when whistles enter the fray does the album come across as somewhat out of the mainstream, as opposed to an overall feeling of differentiation that comes in the later albums.

An example of this perspective is "Magpie", that does feature some whistles as well as a near accapella beginning and ending, but is in many ways a standard rocker. "Guy Fawkes", "TV Screen" and "Secret Society" are not even saved by these variations. On the other hand. songs like "Faceless People" and "Company Director" possess a suspenseful gothic quality that works well when contrasted with Dodds' appealing baritone, while "Second Coming" begins as a jig like tuning before skillfully transitioning to a more conventional prog song.

Red Jasper doesn't know whether to be Steeleye Span or Van de Graaff Generator here, so the album suffers as a consequence, whereas later efforts would sound like Red Jasper, an infinitely better choice. Yet their overall enthusiasm and the horrible musical environment in which they had to operate (ie-1990) helps take some of the sting out of this mildly disappointing tale. 2.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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