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Strawbs - Nomadness CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.54 | 74 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
2 stars It's a shame really. Strawbs have given me many fine hours of music, never really complex or challenging, but always with a lot of heart and talented compositions. I had almost started to believe they couldn't make a bad album. It ends here, unfortunately. This is another contribution to the already impressive amount of two star ratings this album has assembled during its PA time.

Just like Ghosts, Nomadness is an attempt at breaking in to the American market. But similarities end there. Ghost was an honest display of all the facets of Strawbs eclectic music, whereas this smells a little desperate. The pressure is obvious and the result pretty much speaks for itself. The first two songs, To Be Free and Little Sleepy, both have an unsuccessful resemblance to ballsy rock la The Who/Bad Company, just without the balls. Strawbs strength have never been the harder rocking tunes, but rather the delicate folk remnants of crisp acoustic guitar interplaying with its electric brother, and Mellotron/organ to fill up the space. Accuracy and a gentle touch instead of downright power. The two songs, which have potential, thus suffer from the fact that the band can't get out of old habits, and fall a little flat. When displaying some old Strawbisms, as on Golden Salamander and Hanging In The Gallery, the downside is that these songs feel remarkably out of place. Not only that, but as if they were done on nothing but routine, lacking the vibrance a casual fan would expect from them. No need to stop here, the goofy Back On The Farm and Tokyo Rosie with their country twists and turns are downright laughable, and the fact that Dave Cousins DO laugh in the latter is sadly ironic when listening to the result.

In fact, there is only one song that's really good on Nomadness and it's saved for last. The Promised Land sounds like something between Ghosts and Hero And Heroine, with a strong keyboard theme and an amazing refrain. Dramatic tension creating piano and Cousins in his prime once more (for the last time?), this has the effect of a swan song for this ill-defined effort. Sad waste of talent, say I, as quite a few of the songs have both direction and potential, but, as previously mentioned, never strays from safe territory.

2 stars - collectors only.


LinusW | 2/5 |


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