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Family - Fearless CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.50 | 95 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The third period of the Family opens with the arrival of John Wetton on bass, and the abandonment of John Weider, whose violin had greatly influenced the two previous albums. Fearless is the masterpiece of the maturity of the Family, in the name of an eclectic creative art-rock that however can rightfully be considered progressive rock. The first side is simply fantastic: five songs one more beautiful than the other.

1) Between blue and me (vote 8+): rock ballad with before sweet and then powerful singing of Chapman (wonderful), and electric guitar sound. 2) Sat'd'y Barfly (vote 7,5): second song with eccentric arrangement, grotesque mood, with the brass to make the melody. 3) Larf and Sing (vote 8): short song with the vibraphone, sung in falsetto, progressive rock choirs: Beautiful. 4) Spanish Tide (vote 9): masterpiece of the album, for what can be considered a mini-suite of 4 minutes, alternating tender moments, acceleration funk rock, renaissance melody painted with Spanish guitar; the singing pass through delicate moments (Chapman) , grit soul (Wetton) and hard rock power (both). 5) Save Some For Three (vote 7,5/8): like the second track, it has an exuberant band arrangement, but in the middle there is a beautiful melody, carved by the voice of Chapman.

End of a first side full of creativity and musical arrangements with endless inventions.

6) Take Your Partners (vote 8): it opens the second side with a new electronic sound: the synthesizer is in the foreground for the whole song, and weaves its warp with many variations on the theme, leading the song over 6 minutes. It seems to hear a different record from that of the first side, but when the voice of Chapman and the percussions arrive, we find the identity of the Family, which ends with a high volume, pyrotechnical end.

7) Children and 8) Crinkly Green (vote 6,5) are two brief tracks. Perhaps to breathe a sigh after the sound orgasm of the previous song, two acoustic moments arrive, the lightweight but very simple ballad called Children, and the instrumental piece by Palmer with the vibraphone. Overall they are 3 minutes of simplicity detached from the highly sophisticated art-rock arrangements of all the other songs. Despite being the weakest moments of the Lp, qualitatively lower than the other pieces, in the economy of the whole record these two tracks do not disfigure. 9) Blind (vote 7,5): very loud rock song with hoarse singing, and ending with bagpipes. Great creativity. 10) Burning Bridges (vote 8+): Fantastic ending with a melodically beautiful song, with a wonderful sound of guitars, very atmospheric, with hypnotic renaissance tones and then with the voice of Chapman to embellish everything.

Fearless is a small masterpiece (with a great song in place of Children could become an absolute masterpiece) halfway between art-rock and progressive-rock, which highlights the enormous inventiveness and originality in the songwriting and arrangements of the Chapman -Whitney duo, who have never embraced a specific musical genre and have always moved according to their creativity and inspiration regardless of any boundaries.

Medium quality: 7,86. Vote: 9. Five stars.

jamesbaldwin | 5/5 |


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