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Steeleye Span - Now We Are Six CD (album) cover


Steeleye Span


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3.28 | 36 ratings

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3 stars With the addition of Nigel Pegrum as full time drummer and multi-instrumentalist, Steeleye Span was now ready to finally deliver the full punch of a folk-meets-hard-rock band. Their prior two recordings had been their strongest, and could have arguably been even stronger had they contained the full rhythm complement.

Yet part of their appeal was in the more streamlined and succinct quality of those works. In contrast, "Now we are Six" seems almost too ornate and self conscious. They also seem content to include a greater quotient of filler, a tendency that would hurt the next few efforts as well. I'm all for the occasional disposable item as long as it can give me a good day's use, but the mere selections of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "To Know Him is to Love Him" are simply inexcusable in a band of this caliber, and the arrangements do not put me in forgiving mood anyway. The title cut and "Mooncoin Jig" also seem tired and uninspired.

Luckily half the album points to the possibilities of this new lineup - "Thomas the Rhymer" is one of their proudest rockers, "Two Magicians" is imply charming, a fun loving depiction of 2 characters, one in unwanted pursuit of the other's innocence, who can also apparently change form to help or hinder the pursuit. Great ending. "Edwin" is one of those murderous ballads that Steeleye was continuing to perfect, while the bass work on "Seven Hundred Elves" highlights an already corking cut.

Certainly a step down from the prior two releases, this Steeleye effort still has some fine moments and is also of interest for the participation of Ian Anderson as production consultant. In the overall discography, I'd probably place it in a tie for Sixth.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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