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Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 315 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Progressive rock is arguably epitomized in half of this album's output, that being the title cut, "Glad" and "Freedom Rider", an appealing combination of rock, folk, psych and jazz. If the rest had worn so well and blended aptly with the top drawer material, this project might stand more united.

While the easy trad folk of "John Barleycorn Must Die" is a no brainer to a folky like myself, and certainly the best version of the tune I've heard, it doesn't mix all that well with the rest of the material, being the only truly folk oriented moment. If there is a bridge to the remainder, it would lie in the track's flutes that are taken to a higher level on the brilliant "Freedom Rider", integrated into the group's new jazzy vision but paying homage to their psychedelic roots. The verses sound refreshingly like we are catching them in mid phrase. "Glad" leans to the jazzier side of the ledger, thanks to the interplay of saxes and piano, and is another unqualified winner.

For the rest, it could be anything by the SPENCER DAVIS GROUP or early CHICAGO, raucously unrelated to the three masterpieces. This leaves me in a quandary as to the overall rating, but I finally must round up on the off chance that I am missing something that a dose of Mr Barleycorn could materialize.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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