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Comus - To Keep From Crying CD (album) cover

TO KEEP FROM CRYING

Comus

 

Prog Folk

2.75 | 74 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Acid folk gone commercial? Oh no...

After listening to the excellent debut album from Comus, it's hard to believe they could fall too far from the tree with their second release, and yet somehow they have with this album. Who knows what happened, maybe the band decided that they wanted to release a hit single, maybe their management said that they needed to abandon the whole ''acid folk'' thing - but it certainly is clear that the ''acid folk'' thing is what they were good at, and it shows. The band would also break up after the release of this album (although there have been talks about them reuniting, now 30 years down the road), and it was probably for the better, because this record is hardly listenable.

Gone is the inspiration and the striking originality of First Utterance that made it such a quirky and fun listen. All of the tracks on this album could have been put to tape by any other band and they would have sounded much better. Wooten lays off on his voice for this album, which is probably for the better since his voice is very quirky and while it certainly can be used for good instead of evil the songs on this album really aren't a good place for him. Take for example the highly annoying Perpetual Motion where Wooten attempts to sing some sugary soft rock and does so with the same voice that was used on Drip, Drip. Other songs on the album are just oozing with commercial substance, hoping to get some notice, but the band kind of forgot that their fanbase weren't exactly the mainstream music buyers. Did they really expect to walk into a disco club somewhere and hear Down Like A Movie Star blasting on the stereos? This opening song really is a good warning track to anyone venturing into the album. A typically structured song which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so annoying - if you can't sit through this song its best to use the album as a coaster.

The biggest problem with the album is that there are no ''hidden classics'' to save the album, no songs that really stand out above the rest. Once we get through the shocking opener it's just track after track of what is either dribble or just forgettable. Many of the songs are just soft and slow with no power behind them. Take for example the low-key Get Yourself A Man, which could have been the album's saving grace - being the 7-minute long song on the album - but it's simply a lazy meandering of instruments put to the tune of way too high pitch of vocals that fail to really help out in any way. Other songs on the album are the same, the boring and lazy Touch Down is a welcome retreat from the monstrosity of an opening track, but that only hides the fact that it's not that great of a song it itself.

To Keep From Crying is indeed what you'll need to do if you enjoyed the band's first album. This couldn't be further removed from the lost gem that was First Utterance and it's not one of those cases where the band shifted gears for the better. This is one of those albums that you should avoid unless you're an avid collector of the band, although it does come with the Song To Comus boxset, which is pretty much the only way you'll find the band's albums on cd at the moment, so in that case you're stuck with it anyways. Still, this album is just bad, and unfortunately has no redeeming features to it. 1 star.

Queen By-Tor | 1/5 |

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