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Affinity - Affinity CD (album) cover

AFFINITY

Affinity

 

Eclectic Prog

3.70 | 151 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
4 stars AFFINITY were a Jazz-Rock quintet led by vocalist Linda Hoyle. The group formed in Brighton on the south coast of England in 1965. Their one and only studio album, eponymously titled "Affinity" was released in 1970 just before the band broke up and went their different ways. There were two bonus tracks included in the 1993 CD reissue of the album and eight bonus tracks on the 2002 re-mastered album. Four compilation CD's of early material were released in the early 2000's.

The album opens in bright and lively style with "I Am and So Are You", an intriguingly-titled song with these cryptic lyrics, "I am a singer of songs, A writer of wrongs, A dreamer of sighs, A hater of lies, so are you, And so are you."..... I am liking this song, and so will you. The song romps along in traditional 4/4 time with a solid brass section in accompaniment. Now get on board for, "Night Flight". It's the second-longest song on the albim, running at over 7 minutes long. It features these enigmatic lyrics, "My window looks out onto night and darkness comes, And birds in flight without a sound, Night is strange, My spirit floats out into space on silver wings, And joins the birds without a sound." ..... The song has a very melancholic and laid-back opening before bursting into life with impressive energy and vigour. Linda Hoyle's emotional vocals carry the song along on a flight of fancy with a powerful instrumental Jazz break halfway through the song, featuring some nifty finger-work on the Hammond organ. This stimulating number is sure to keep the listener entertained with it's constant changes of tempo and impressive vocals. Next comes "I Wonder If I'll Care As Much", a cover version of a little-known Everly Brothers song. This emotionally appealing, beautiful ballad really tugs at the heartstrings when Linda Hoyle passionately sings, "Last night I've cried myself to sleep, For the one that made me weep, I've dried my eyes to greet the day, I wonder why I had to pay." ..... It's often the saddest songs that are the best, and that's certainly the case here, and it represents one of the highlights of the album. After the sadness comes "Mr. Joy", a bluesy song to close out Side One with the refrain, "Mr Joy, He's a toy, You can wind him up, And he'll do anything you want him too." They're not exactly earth-shattering lyrics but Linda Hoyle sounds like she's really enjoying herself in this song with her breathless gasps and moans towards the end. It makes you wonder who or what "Mr Joy" actually is. The mind boggles...... And so, on to Side Two as we flip the album over and begin with "Three Sisters", a brassy up-tempo Jazz-Rock number to set those feet tapping and get the drinks flowing. Just try not to spill your drink though while you're dancing along to this bright and lively number. There's a change of pace now with the next song, "Coconut Grove", a gently laid-back acoustic cover version of the well-known Lovin' Spoonful song. You can lie back and put your feet up on the veranda and sip on a pina colada to really get into the spirit of this warmly melodic song. Now for the grand finale, a pulsating powerhouse performance of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower", which was of course made famous by Jimi Hendrix. This tremendous song has the unstoppable power of a runaway train and it's the perfect way to close out the album. This is eleven and a half minutes of raw power and sheer delight, so prepare to be amazed!

If you have an Affinity for some stimulating early-1970's British Jazz-Rock, then this is the album for you.

Psychedelic Paul | 4/5 |

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