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Roy Harper - Folkjokeopus CD (album) cover


Roy Harper


Prog Folk

3.72 | 44 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars It may be folk, it may be a joke but this is no opus.

Roy Harper decided to go mojo gonzo on this, his third studio album with psychedelic lyrics, sitar playing, and his old stand by, stream of consciousness musings that pass for both spoken word pieces and song lyrics proper. Roy also became fixated with the high, annoying almost dog whistle range of his voice, which unfortunately is not very pleasant and Roy soon dropped the vocal hijinks after this album. Thank God. That one annoying trait really kills "She's The One" on this infectious song's chorus. How super producer Shel Talmy (Kinks, Who, Pentangle) let Roy fly with this is a mystery. Talmy often said that he had to hem Roy in and I can only wonder what Roy would have committed to vinyl without Talmy's guidance! The lead off track "Sgt. Sunshine" is exactly what you would expect from a post Sgt. Pepper's era British folk singer, and that could be said of "In The Time Of All" and "Composer Of Life" too. "One For All"is both an exception and a highlight featuring some of the best Celtic/Arabian tuning and finger picking found on any British folk rock album of that era.

The opus that Roy is referring to is "McGoohan's Blues" with it's lengthy folk style solo acoustic and voice that gives way to Roy's spoken word stream of consciousness musing before more solo acoustic guitar and voice suddenly morphs into a song with full rock music accompaniment. In mid verse, no less. Unexpected? Yes. Pleasant to listen to? No.

Roy would return to more (at least for him) traditional folk fair on this album's follow up Flat, Baroque and Berserk before combining the two directions more coherently on his true magnum opus Stormcock a year later. But for now, Roy is content with just being out there, as if he really needed more of an excursion into madness. Folkjokeopus is not the worst album in Roy's canon but it's a far cry from later classic albums like Stormcock or Lifemask. 3 stars.

SteveG | 3/5 |


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