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Beggars Opera - Touching The Edge CD (album) cover


Beggars Opera


Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 23 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Touching

Having made a surprise return to recording a year earlier, Beggar's Opera (or at least a band bearing that name) reconvened a year later with an unchanged line up. 'Close to my heart' had represented a radical change in direction, and that new direction is maintained with this set. The vocals are once again in the hands of Virginia Scott , whose style is well suited to this collection.

Generally slightly shorter and more pop orientated, the songs here still have ambitious arrangements. Ricky Gardiner's guitar seems heavier this time, especially on the opening 'Dancer in the Wind'. Virginia Scott's vocals are strongly reminiscent of those of Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries, indeed a number of the songs here could be mistaken for that band.

'Attraction gaze' features what I believe is the first appearance of sax on a Beggar's Opera album, the curiously named Ajijo being the guest musician. The sax returns on the dreamy 'Frozen on an Eye', a track of many simultaneous moods and sounds.

'I Lie There' has a light, at times folk feel, the lead guitar phrases being suitably whispy with complementary sax coming later. 'I Wanted to Tell You' is the happiest track on the album, with a fine melody being complemented by multi-tracked vocals and a variety of guitar and keyboard fills. ' River Over Me' maintains the energy, driven along a a fine pace by heavy drums.

The album closes with something radically different. Recorded some time previously, this 16' minute piece has little in common with the music of this album and its predecessor. 'Auschwitz' captures the atmosphere of that notorious location vividly through some poignant lead guitar which eventually leads into atmospheric female voice. While apparently out of place on the album, the track stands alone as a fine coda to any performance.

In all, a second excellent album from the reformed and redefined Beggar's Opera. While leaning more towards simpler song structures, the arrangements remain inventive and captivating.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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