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Grace - Gathering In The Wheat CD (album) cover

GATHERING IN THE WHEAT

Grace

 

Neo-Prog

3.05 | 6 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Leaving gracefully

The title for this, the final release by Grace to date, is taken from a lyric on the Poppy album. This live album is intended as a coda to the band's studio releases, although the sleeve notes claim that the band is not defunct. The gig took place in Stoke, UK well after the release of Poppy in 1996 and was the last official live performance by the band.

The set list draws in tracks from the band's four studio albums including several from their rare 1979 self titled debut, an album which appeared some 13 years before their second release.

The sleeve note tell us that this album captures the band's real power, and that may well be the case. What it does not do though is reflect the fine arrangements and careful production which went into the studio albums. The performances certainly find the band enjoying themselves in front of an enthusiastic audience, but the refinement which characterised the original albums is largely missing. The sensitive observations on the Oklahoma bombings for example do not transfer well to a live audio album, despite the obvious passion in Mac Austin's vocals.

The picture I paint here is probably bleaker than is justified. These are after all competent performances of a wide array of songs from throughout the band's history. The bottom line is perhaps that this album is largely superfluous for those who have the studio albums. Those who have remained faithful to the band, and who were fortunately enough to witness a live performance may well consider this to be a valid memento though.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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