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Gryphon - Raindance CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.26 | 180 ratings

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3 stars The next album after the acclaimed "Red Queen To Gryphon Three" album shows GRYPHON becoming more rock-based and less medieval in their sound. There are 9 tracks on this album, versus the 4 long tracks on "Red Queen To Gryphon Three", although the shorter tracks on "Raindance" are counterbalanced by the last track '(Ein Klein) Heldenleben' which is the album's pièce de résistance and perhaps more like the music on "Red Queen To Gryphon Three".

'Opening Move' has a funky start and is a pleasant 'foot tapper' (with an abrupt end), but it's nothing special.

The title track is basically the sampled sound of rain falling with backing instrumental music, with some thunderclaps near the end of the track. It's pleasant, relaxing and quite evocative, but hardly a masterpiece.

'Mother Nature's Son' is GRYPHON's rendition of the Lennon & McCartney song, and for me is one of the highlights of this album. The vocals, recorder and acoustic guitar make for a beautiful track which I like very much. It also reminds me of just how good Lennon & McCartney were at song writing. I wonder, though, why GRYPHON chose this particular song to include on the album.

'Le Cambrioleur Est Dans Le Mouchoir' (the burgler is in the handkerchief!) is a fun number in a 1920s-like style and reminds me a little of BONZO DOG DOO-DAH BAND, even down to the Viv Stanshall-sounding singing in places.

'Ormolu' is a short song with a tick-tock rhythm; it sounds to me like the soundtrack to a BBC TV programme for small children!

'Fontinental Version' is initially a rather laid-back, melodious song with nonsense lyrics, sounds a bit like an 18th Century English country dance in the middle but then has a good Progressive instrumental part with synth, electric guitar and bass. I like this track.

'Wallbanger', an instrumental written by Harvey (!), has a foot-tapping beat and good use of instruments (including clavinet): there's still a bit of GRYPHON's recorder and bassoon in there but also plenty of bass, organ and percussion, amongst others. It's still easily identifiable as GRYPHON with the medieval influences, though. Great track.

'Don't Say Go' is a tuneful, 'foot tapper' song, but nothing special.

The long instrumental '(Ein Klein) Heldenleben' is more like the music on "Red Queen To Gryphon Three". It's a very good track containing a variety of catchy rhythms, melodies and moods. You can still easily hear the medieval influence for which GRYPHON is known, but it's also very Progressive music in my opinion. It also rocks in places with some nice keyboards (almost Wakeman-like in one place), electric guitar, bass and drums.

All in all not a bad album, but not as good as "Red Queen To Gryphon Three" in my opinion. Nevertheless, I doubt you would regret owning this album. In any case, as Transatlantic Records has released it together with "Red Queen To Gryphon Three" under their "Two Albums on One CD" releases, there's no reason not to get it!

Fitzcarraldo | 3/5 |


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