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Horslips - Folk Collection CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.05 | 2 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars A couple of aspects to this "concept" seem off base and fraught with peril. First, Horslips was not truly a folk group, and therefore this release would, if accurately titled, misrepresent the group. Secondly, sourcing Horslips' folkiest tunes and songs off their original recordings would be like that awful late 1960s experiment in which cute red eared turtles were saved from their hazardous wild existence only to encounter certain death at the hands of the children of misinformed parents. That is, the folk belongs with the rock and the prog, purists notwithstanding.

Yet somehow, in spite of inherent flaws, "Folk Collection" represents a fair summation of what the group was about when they adapted traditional material or wrote original tunes worthy of their great great great ..... grandparents. While a few of the vocal efforts, like "The Snow that Melts the Soonest", and "The Shamrock Shore", seem tame and overly languid, they are more than offset by the nigh punk attitude of "Dance to yer Daddy" and "Bim Istigh Ag Ol", and the off kilter enunciations of "Ar Bratach Ban". In the instrumental category, the weaker pieces, like "The High Reel", remain buried in their mothers' bosums, afraid to greet the new day with a new attitude, while the highlights, like "Oisin's Tune" and "Silver Spear", resuscitate the tradition without mocking the elders.

The balance of Horslips' eras could be better, with the album drawing almost exclusively from 2 disks, and the group's best "The Tain" and "Book of Invasions", both rich in adapted folk music, are given short shrift. In addition, a few stunners were left off, among them the eerie and schizophrenic "Musical Priest". But if you somehow stumble upon this long forgotten vinyl, it's not a bad introduction to a group that put the F_K in folk.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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