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Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 313 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The gestation of this record has already been described by fellow reviewers so there's no need to tell the story again. The band is now a trio after the many in and out from one of their leader (Mason).

After an hesitant instrumental jazzy track (''Glad''), the next song is much more catchy: ''Freedom Rider'' demonstrates all the qualities of this band: vocals are brilliant (as usual), the work of Chris Wood on sax and fluting is absolutely gorgeous. My fave here.

There are some positive vibrations that are coming out of this album, as if the burden of Mason's decision to leave, stay, leave etc. were all gone. Concentration was again centralized on music, not external stability factors.

This album is also more soul oriented than usual (''Empty Pages'' and ''Stranger To Himself''). These leave me rather cold I'm afraid.

Luckily, the band reverts to a more traditional and folkish style with the charming title track. Another highlight from this album. The mix between the acoustic guitar and the flute is excellent while the heavier mood of ''Every Mothers Son'' shows a nice contrast: Steve is pumping his organ jolly well and performs a very convincing vocal part.

The remastered CD edition adds another twenty-five minutes of music to the original album. What I particularly like are the live tracks. Extended versions of ''Glad'' and ''Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring'' from their second album. ''Traffic'' was a very good live band and had a serious tendency to jam quite a bit during their live performances.

The version of ''Glad'' is totally dynamited and far much superior to its studio counterpart. You have to be keen on long improvisations though. But I belong to this generation.

This is a good album, but better things are on their way. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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