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Roy Harper - Stormcock CD (album) cover

STORMCOCK

Roy Harper

 

Prog Folk

3.95 | 197 ratings

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dreadpirateroberts
5 stars It's hard not to rave about this album, but it really does deserve the high ratings and glowing reviews. A thoughtful record, it's one of Roy Harper's creative peaks.

Everything is just so well-executed. Harper's voice is expressive and dexterous, his guitar playing is inspired and exceeds the playing of guest Jimmy Page in its romanticism (who appears on The Same Old Rock) and is a worthy focal point. Though some subtle strings come in during Me and My Woman, the thirteen-minute closer, this is an album about the acoustic guitar.

Lyrically Harper spans idealism to pessimism and his words are often clever and sly. I found them to be most impassioned during The Same Old Rock. On his website, Roy says of the song "The Same Old Rock records my opposition to continued dependence on the cheap opium of convenient mass religion." Birds feature as effective symbols and are in wonderful sympathy with the folk aspects of the album, gentlest and used best on Me and My Woman.

At first glance, Stormcock has a very similar feel to its songs, a sign of its unity, but after repeated listens it reveals a surprising amount of depth and variety. Especially for an album with only four songs and a handful of instruments (among the guitars, there is some keyboard, strings and saxophone too.)

I've spent most of the time here describing but two songs, and while I personally prefer the opener to One Man Rock N Roll Band (which trails off to my mind a bit before the silence kicks in at its end) these two are good supporting players to the majesty of the two standouts.

A progressive treatment of the folk genre, this one is really worth owning. The liner notes speak of Roy and producer Peter Jenner feeling as though this album would be the one that 'broke through' for Roy, and that they had the greatest time recording it, evidenced by the happy photo of Roy on the cover. I know I'd be happy too if I'd managed something like this.

Track Picks: The Same Old Rock, Me and My Woman

dreadpirateroberts | 5/5 |

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