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Strawbs - Déjà Fou CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.16 | 32 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Shine on silver (haired) sons

Over the years, the Strawbs have become more of a family than a band, with numerous members coming and going while Dave Cousins remains the father of the house. So it was that in 2004, the line up which recorded the fine "Hero and heroine" album some 30 years previously reconvened to record this release. It should be said though that while Chas Crock, Rod Coombes and John Hawkin all make significant and valuable contributions, this is primarily an Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert project.

We open with a brief instrumental introduction featuring chromaharp which leads into one of the highlights of the album. "Under a cloudless sky" sets out as a soft reflective number but builds quickly through some fine vocal harmonies. The track has welcome echoes of "The vision of the lady of the lake" from the band's earliest days in both sound and structure, Cousins voice retaining all the passion and drama it had way back then. Robert Kirby's orchestration of the track is dynamic but sympathetic.

The string quartet who grace the album come to the fore for the first time on "Face down in the well", a melancholy soft ballad of the type Cousins delivers so well. The tracks tend to alternate between up tempo songs and gentle ballads. Dave Lambert takes on occasions lead vocals such as on his self composed "Cold steel", one of the upbeat numbers.

"Russian front" is another major highlight of the album, the 7 minute track cumulating in a frenzied instrumental. This contrasts starkly with the following "Here today, gone tomorrow", which sees Cousins delivering a delicate prose, accompanied only by piano.

Only the closing "NRG" lets the side down. This electro pop number may have simply been a fling at chart success, but the strange combination of Oriental and Celtic influences with a thumping beat and trite lyrics all adds up to a track too many on the album.

In all though, this is a fine Strawbs album which incorporates some of their old prog inclinations with lighter songs and delicate ballads. The sun continues to shine on the Strawbs.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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