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Comus - To Keep From Crying CD (album) cover

TO KEEP FROM CRYING

Comus

 

Prog Folk

2.75 | 74 ratings

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Alitare
4 stars To Keep From Crying ? 1974 (4/5) 12 ? Best Song: So Long Supernova (and others)

What is it? Comus have turned into the Byrds? Yeah, that'd be a good joke to tell around a classic rock campfire. What's even funnier? The Byrds turning into Comus. Hey it could happen. I ain't even gonna deny. But for the longest time I was fighting to obtain this album (it isn't exactly top of the list on Itunes). Needless to say I was quite surprised when I first sat down and listened to it. 15 minute epics detailing violent murders? Aggressive, tribal rhythms and psychologically deteriorating personae? I expected that stuff. What I didn't expect was a minor folk pop masterpiece god damn it. In a way, the folks who weren't able to get into the band from their one notable album due to the 'strange' excess, but still want dark and melodic folk, you might just take this as a veritable haven.

I know that I was quite impressed right from the start. 'Down Like a Movie Star', 'Touch Down', and the ever sweet 'So Long Supernova' are all rich and organic, sweeping and gorgeously harmonic. It's as if they took their style, matured it a few millennia, infused it with later-era Beatles, and cut down to simple (in the good sense of the word) folk pop. It's so much prettier than anyone could have made me believe. It's one of the best of the early 1970's. 'Waves and Caves' is an eerie instrumental interlude that utilizes dark guitar feedback. 'Figure in your Dreams' has this inspiring male/female trade-off that's absolutely beautiful. It's not as good as the debut?that's what everyone wants me to say.

And hey, I can agree with that. I adored First Utterance. But my god is I shocked at how damn fine To Keep From Crying actually be. At one point in time today (after listening to it several times) I was tempted to give the 13 to this?but I snapped back into my senses. Man, critical opinion can be insipid sometimes. As a note, the 'Songs to Comus' compilation that contains every song they recorded (containing all the tracks from both studio albums, the previously unreleased First Utterance outtake, the rare Diana maxi-single (with previously unheard, wonderful B-sides), and a couple Wooton solo songs thrown in on the end to boot) is a case where the record companies just got it right. It's not going to be reviewed here (unless I get the urge), but it would be given no less than a high 13/low 14. It's that much of a good deal, sir.

Alitare | 4/5 |

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