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Procol Harum - Exotic Birds And Fruit CD (album) cover

EXOTIC BIRDS AND FRUIT

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

3.31 | 92 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Exotic Birds and Fruit" is the seventh full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Procol Harum. The album was released through Chrysalis Records in April 1974. After two releases "Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (1972)" and "Grand Hotel (1973)" where the group had added orchestral instrumentation and progressive ideas to their music, they intentionally set out to write and record an album that was more of a group effort without outside interference or guest musicians. A more stripped down rock album so to speak and not a symphonic/progressive rock album.

As it turns out the symphonic/progressive elements are still there on "Exotic Birds and Fruit" albeit in much smaller doses and on this album itīs the organ arrangements that makes the music symphonic in parts and not an orchestra (there is a string arrangement in "Nothing But the Truth" but thatīs the only place). The music style on "Exotic Birds and Fruit" is unmistakbaly the sound of Procol Harum and tracks like "Nothing But the Truth", "As Strong as Samson", "The Idol", the eerie sounding "The Thin End of the Wedge" and the beautiful closer "New Lamps for Old" are all strong Procol Harum compositions. On the other hand there are tracks like "Fresh Fruit" and "Butterfly Boys" which are less remarkable. Even though the band would have you believe that this is a stripped down back to basics effort (thatīs basically what it says in the liner notes) Procol Harumīs music on "Exotic Birds and Fruit" is anything but stripped down. With Gary Brookerīs omnipresent piano playing and Chris Coppingīs organ high in the mix this is another detailed and layered album by the band. Gary Brookerīs distinct sounding and strong voice and his melodic vocal lines are as always the center of the groupīs music.

"Exotic Birds and Fruit" is a well produced album, featuring high level musicianship, a warm and pleasant sound production and for the most part intriguing songwriting, and fans of the band should of course own this album. For more casual listeners I would recommend listening to either "Shine on Brightly (1968)" or "Grand Hotel (1973)" before this one, but it is still a good quality release deserving a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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