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Paul Brett - Earth Birth CD (album) cover


Paul Brett


Prog Folk

3.10 | 2 ratings

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3 stars Perhaps PAUL BRETT's first wholly progressive release, "Earth Birth" utilized an unlikely instrumental approach to the genre - solo 12 string acoustic guitar and....that's it. Nonetheless, this is no folk album. It consists of intricate work that pretty much solidifies Brett's status as one of the world's best.

Paul Brett was later to produce instructional videos for 12 string guitar technique, and in many ways "Earth Birth" serves as an audio predecessor to those targeted items. Therein lies the major problem I have with this admittedly groundbreaking work - it's a triumph of technique over art, of tutelage over composition. Not being capable of playing much more than my iPOD, I am nonetheless able to appreciate that many of his nifty moves probably have a name that would resonate with axepersons far and wide, and I enjoy them for their clarity and appealing sonic images. But my attention wanders, and a few melodies like the main theme of "Christened by Fire" would be more than welcome. Here and there we find the embryos of the album's successors "Interlife" and "Eclipse", germs of ideas lacking maturity.

"Earth Birth" is caught in the netherworld of releases, too significant to warrant less than 3 stars and too academic to warrant more. Luckily it whelped several superior progressive albums by Brett in the years that followed.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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