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Paul Brett - Songs from the Compleat Angler CD (album) cover


Paul Brett


Prog Folk

3.10 | 2 ratings

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3 stars If you enjoyed AMAZING BLONDEL's classic "England" release, this 2009 offering by PAUL BRETT will bring a tear to your eye and a lump to your throat. Based on a centuries old reference for the angler, it transports the listener back to an idyllic era while capturing the exhilaration and freedom of carefree days and nights casting about. While it is the thrill of the catch that keeps anglers returning to their favourite spots, Brett, with Isaak Walton as inspiration, brings out the inner Zen Buddhist in every fisherman. But, to the music.

This is in no way, shape or form a rock album, and it is only progressive in a regressive sense, its flutes and strings augmenting the precision of Brett's immaculate 12-strings while softening the appealing gruffness of his sexagenarian voice. Entirely acoustic, "Songs from the Compleat Angler" is replete with lovely Olde English melodies inspired by the past but freshened by Brett's vision. Only in "Spring" and "Corridon's Song" does he seem somewhat overwhelmed by his surroundings and ambition, but this is more than redeemed by "O, the Gallant Fisher's Life" and the jaw-dropping beauty of "Virtue" and "Angler's Wish", trilling tunes that capture the spirit of the early Blondel album and John David Gladwin's odes to the lovely English countryside. I also hear a little of PETE MORTON's muse in the closing "Angler's Song".

So, how to rate this anachronistic work of art? When considered in the context of Paul Brett's canon and a progressive rock website, it is little more than a brief if lovely diversion. But if the descriptions above speak to you, you will fall for it hook line and sinker, and it's easily available from legit download services.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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