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Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.78 | 132 ratings

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3 stars Liege and Lief is Fairport Convention's most acclaimed album. That is no surprise, the musical maturity of the musicians had grown considerably and Sandy Denny delivers some of her most divine vocals ever. Unfortunately it was the last album with her in the band and Fairport Convention had a hard time reaching an audience ever since.

The album opens with the rather pedestrian tune Come All Ye, classic blues-rock with a tiny fiddle that doesn't appeal much to me. The eerie folk hymn of Reynardine is an entirely different matter, so much delicate emotion and dreamy atmosphere here. Matty Groves is also a more satisfying song, in style it's similar to the opener but the unrelenting folk chant keeps building up all the way through. Farwell and The Deserter are fairly unremarkable but ok ballads. A big disappointment comes with Medley, a very badly aged medley of folk dance clichés.

Up goes the level with the next one. Tam Lin is a mandatory listen, an epic folk tale with a good bluesy rocking arrangement. Crazy Man Michael ends the original album with a beautiful ballad. Considering all the ups and downs, you must make sure to get the 2002 reissue. The 8 minute Quiet Joys of Brotherhood is a must-have, recalling the sad and sinister atmosphere of Reynardine and A Sailor's Life, the highlight of the previous album.

Generally, I'm not to keen about folk music and certainly not folk-rock. On top, I haven't heard much rock bands with convincing female vocals. But somehow Fairport Convention makes it work here. There's a layer of thick woolly blankets to bite through, but once you're in, it will be a cosy and warm stay with Sandy and the guys around the campfire. 3.5 stars

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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