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Family - Family Entertainment CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.62 | 126 ratings

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4 stars The biggest change of direction in FAMILY's output is probably here, in their second album. Whereas the extremely interesting debut Music In a Doll's House (1968) was quite an experimental stir of psychedelia, pop, blues and Proto Prog, this one is more even, no doubt more commercial and "easier", and resembling more of the later FAMILY albums in style than of the debut. Now, doesn't this sound as if this was a notably weaker album? Funny thing is that it isn't! It may not include as great and innovative moments, but it's a pretty good collection of solid songs, more or less progressive in nature, finely produced and played. In some way it definitely was a step forward, also as a product of a seriously taken PROG band (and as far as I'm concerned, they didn't take any bigger steps later on...), though of course it misses the more unique charm of the debut. But it has a different kind of charm. I think it's my second favourite, right after the debut, in their catalogue.

The songs are all fairly good, if not very good. The atmosphere is mostly a bit lighter or happier, but not to a degree of being dull. There are various moods as well. One standout track is the opener 'The Weaver's Answer', in which the famous larynx of Roger Chapman works best. Some songs are sung by guitarist John Whitney (there's also an instrumental or two) and that too brings some variety.

FAMILY made several fantastic songs also on their later albums, but none of them is as finely crafted from the beginning to end as this one. A safe choice, if not half as unique as the debut.

Matti | 4/5 |


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