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Amazing Blondel - England CD (album) cover


Amazing Blondel


Prog Folk

3.31 | 41 ratings

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3 stars England is a peculiar album to handle. It doesn't contain any passages of complex progressive music and at no point does rock come into the picture. Yet it sits very comfortably in any progressive rock collection. The downright languid pastoral music performed by the trio of Gladwin, Baird and Wincott may well be original compositions (at least they're credited as such even if a couple of them seem like re-arranged classical staples) but they are rooted very much in the traditions of Elizabethan England.

The musical style on this album sees Wincott's fluttering flute and a string orchestra conducted by one Adrian Hopkins (who also guests on haprsichord) adding glorious flourishes over a double acoustic guitar "attack" comprising Baird and Gladwin, but if one was truly pressed to name the distinguishing feature of this record, it would undoubtedly be Gladwin's timeless rich melodies that come to mind. The vocal stylings will not be to everyone's taste (the word "twee" does come to mind!) but coupled with lyrics that evoke an England that died centuries ago, Gladwin successfully takes his listeners with him on a uniquely rustic time travel.

The quality of the music is astonishingly consistent throughout the album although the three-part opener The Paintings is never quite surpassed. Other highlights include A Spring Air, Cantus Firmus To Counterpoint, Sinfonia For Guitar And Strings, Doctor Dulcis (Sweet Strings and Lament To The Earl Of Bottlesford Beck. Wait a minute ... did I just name the whole album?

Seriously, as a mood-setter, this album has few peers, but you really have to be in the mood. As I said earlier ... a peculiar album to handle. ... 65% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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