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Titus Groan - Titus Groan & ... Plus (1989) CD (album) cover

TITUS GROAN & ... PLUS (1989)

Titus Groan

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 37 ratings

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lukretio
3 stars Titus Groan is not a masterpiece (as sometimes advertised) but is not a bad album either. It has decent melodies, good dynamics and well arranged songs performed by skilful musicians. And it has loads of woodwind parts, which are actually the most distinctive and interesting aspect of the album. Tony Priestland's flute, saxophone and oboe feature prominently on all five songs on the album, and to great effect. In fact, his skilled use of the woodwinds is the most 'progressive' aspect of Titus Groan's music ? which would otherwise be better described as a sort of 'psychedelic hard rock' .

While the 11+ minutes long mostly instrumental "Hall Of Bright Carvings" might look like an obvious candidate for best song of the album, in my opinion Titus Groan's best moments are the first two pieces on side B: the dynamic "I can't change" and the mellower "It's all up with us". Stuart Cowell's rough but emotional singing is convincing in both songs, and Priestland does an excellent job with his flute in "I can't change" and with his sax in "It's all up with us". "Hall Of Bright Carvings" is also a good song, although it feels like it dragged a bit to me. But it has its moments too, with pleasant vocal harmonies and some nice oboe work. The other two songs on the album are "It Wasn't For You", which is a decent bluesy opener, and the disappointing and repetitive uptempo "Fuschia".

"Titus Groan ... plus" comes with three bonus tracks originally released as a single in 1970. These are rather standard psychedelic rock songs, which did not impress me a lot: "Liverpool" is an OK pscyh song with a decent instrumental section at the end, "Open The Door, Homer" is a Bob Dylan song which passes away quite unnoticed, while "Woman Of The World" is just a poor pop/rock song.

2.5 stars really, with another 0.5 for the woodwinds.

lukretio | 3/5 |

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