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John Martyn - One World CD (album) cover

ONE WORLD

John Martyn

 

Prog Folk

3.30 | 15 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars After almost three years since his last studio deceiving album Sunday's Child, most of Martyn's fans were expecting pmich of the coming One World. To say the least, the album did not get unanimous acceptance by the fans: those expecting another Solid air were definitely disappointed, however those wanting more accessible tunes were very happy. Indeed Martyn wrote maybe his poppiest album of the 70's, whether Stevie Winwood's presence over most of the tracks, and the gradual disappearance of Danny Thompson (less than half the tracks), but one feels an era has passed, and it won't come back. Winwood himself was in a transitional phase of his cerreer and released his first (excellent) solo album the same year, but it would be another 5 year until the hugely successful (sales-wise anyway) Arc Of A Diver

Don't get fooled by the opening track Dealer, it's not the Traffic track, but a Martyn original that IMHO does make hint at the 68 song. but it's relatively funky and upbeat, a perfect way to start an album, even if the track is only average at best. Much more interesting is the slow title track, where Martyn's echoplex effect pedals are used to great effects under Handsford Rowe's (future Gongzilla) superb round bass. Another winner is Smiling Stranger with Winwood's Arabic strings synths in the background, but again Solid Air is ac distant memory. The didgeridoo-lead Big Muff track features Brand X's Morris Pert on percussions, but the track is not only repetitive, but overstays its welcome by a good three minutes. Not sure if the co-author Lee Perry uses the "Scratch" epithet, but like many tunes f this album, the track is on the limit between funk and reggae.

The flipside sees the return of Danny Thompson on bass, and directly with a bow on the contrabass, Couldn't Love You More is a return to Bless the Weather, but the following Captain Surprise sticks out like a sore thumb, especially the cheesy trad jazz sax solo. You might gas well ship the next Dancing track, to get faster to the album's best piece, the almost 9-mins, the sleep inducing (and aptly titled) Small Hours.

Actually, although this album is often fondly remembered, I personally think that it is of the same accabit as Sunday's Child, possibly even worse of the 70's. The strory doesn't tell you whether Martyn himself was pleased with the album, but it certainly did not prompt him back soon in the studio as the the next (and much betterà Grace And Danger wouldn't huit the shops until three years later. As for this one, it certainly is NOT a priority

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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