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Family - Anyway CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.37 | 99 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Anyway is a project divided in half: the first part is recorded live, and unfortunately the sound is blurred, far away, as if it were a bootleg. The second part is recorded in the studio and presents songs from the arrangement similar to "A Song For Me", which is a folk rock guided by guitars and violin, ranging from the acoustic ballad to the hard rock song.

The first song, "Good News Bad News", is one of the band's masterpieces, a powerful rock where the Family show their cohesion in concert. The voice, the electric guitar and John Weider's vibes solo are all very effective. Who knows how beautiful it would have been if we could have heard it registered with all the trappings in the studio. Vote 8,5.

The second song, "Willow Tree", is a slow piano ballad that features folk instrumental parts guided by the violin (Vote 7+). The third returns to be more sustained, but as the second does not fully convince (Vote 7+). So we arrive at "Strange Band", one of the battle horses of the second formation of the Family, the one with Weider, which here shows off his skills to the violin in a beautiful hard- colored folk rock. Again the listening is penalized by the bad sound, which penalizes above all the bass and the rhythm section listening. The song reaches in some moments a very powerful pathos, such as "Good New Bad News", but it is not fully developed and suffers from its short duration (Vote 7,5).

Overall, this live side A, both for the bad recording and the sequence of the songs next to the first, does not allow us to fully appreciate the power of the legendary live performances of the Family.

The second side opens with an excellent blues ballad driven from the bass ("Part of the Load", vote 8) which is a novelty in the repertoire of the Family, continues with a minor acoustic ballad ("Anyway", vote 7), and then, as in the previous record (A Song For me), as a penultimate song puts a folk acoustic instrumental piece. Unlike "93's O.K. J" this instrumental song ("Normans") presents a beautiful melody led by the violin, which acts as a refrain and makes it the most melodic track of the album. The LP closes with "Lives and Ladies", which alternates acoustic moments with electric moments, trying in some way to represent a synthesis of the entire album; Chapman is able to show off his powerful raw vibrato but the song is not fluid, it does not flow in a casual way and appears somewhat forced (Vote 7,5).

Anyway is a more than discrete album, but that does not contain any particular news compared to A Song For Me (plus the lack of being less unitary): it confines itself to confirming the Family as one of the most creative progressive band of folk-prog.

Medium quality songs: 7.625. Vote 7.5 / 8 Three stars.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |


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