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Family - Music In A Doll's House / Family Entertainment CD (album) cover

MUSIC IN A DOLL'S HOUSE / FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

Family

 

Eclectic Prog

3.59 | 6 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This boxset which includes the first two studio albums from British rock act Family was released in 1999. In addition to all the original tracks from the two albums, the two first tracks on CD1 are bonus tracks taken of a Family single release. Both Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens and Gypsy Woman are typical Family songs in the slightly psychadelic/ experimental rock style that they played.

Music In A Doll's House:

Music In A Doll's House is the debut studio album from Family. I had never heard about Family before listening to this album and what a shame that is. This is an absolutely wonderful album and an excellent addition to my collection.

The music is a bit hard to describe as there are influences from many genres present on Music In A Doll's House. I would say that the most dominant genre is bluesy rock´n´roll but mind you that it´s done in a sophisticated way that includes sax, flute and even what sounds like a mellotron at times. There is also a healthy dose of psychadelic rock and a bit of jazz and folk thrown in for good measure. The songs are pretty basic rock tunes but with the aforementioned features this makes for a great listening experience.

One of the greatest things on the album is Roger Chapman´s voice which is really distict and powerful. He sometimes sound a bit like Peter Gabriel when he sings most loud but a singer like Bernardo Lanzetti from Premiata Forneria Marconi also comes to mind. This is mostly due to the extreme vibrato both singers possess and use extensively. I´m sometimes reminded of another british band and that´s Audience who has a similar eclectic style.

The musicianship is great and the raw sixties production fits the music well.

This album is a winner in my book and I´ll glady rate it 4 stars. I´ll be looking forward to listening to more music from Family in the future.

Family Entertainment:

Family Entertainment is the second album from british rock act Family. I was really impressed with the debut album from Family called Music In A Doll's House from 1968. It´s a great psychadelic and eclectic rock album that falls under the catagory mildy progressive. With this second album Family has moved away from the psychadelic tendencies which were a big part of their sound on Music In A Doll's House. Family Entertainment is a much more polished and commercial effort.

Family´s music is not easily put into a catagory. It contains elements from both rock, jazz, blues, classical music and folk/ country. A truly eclectic band. One of the biggest assets on this album is Roger Chapman´s vocals which I find very charming and powerful. He has a very raw voice and he would have made a great hard rock vocalist. This fact is very evident in the only hard rocking track on the album Second Generation Woman, which by the way is a bit out of place IMO. Most songs on the album are pretty good and a few are above average. I like Observations From A Hill and the instrumental Summer ´67 while some of the more folk/ country elements that also sneak into some of the songs are not that interesting to me. The eclectic approach to music reminds me a bit of another british band called Audience.

The musicianship is one of the greatest assets on the album. Great violin and sax playing, but the rythm section also prove themselves throughout the album.

The production is very polished compared to the raw debut. It will be an aquired taste if this is something you´ll appreciate. Personally I prefer the raw sound of the debut.

Family Entertainment is a good album but I do miss the raw approach that was so enjoyable on the debut and for me Family Entertainment is a 3 star album. Family is still an intriguing band though and I´ll be looking forward to reviewing the rest of their discography.

Conclusion:

Music In A Doll's House is my favorite Family album and if you can get this boxset for a good price I would just see the inclusion of Family Entertainment as a bonus. If you have to pay full double CD price for this release I would seek out the remastered 2003 version of Music In A Doll's House instead. My rating reflects my deep love for Music In A Doll's House and even though Family Entertainment isn´t nearly as exciting I still think this boxset deserves a 4 star rating.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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