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Pearls Before Swine / Tom Rapp - .... Beautiful Lies You Could Live In CD (album) cover

.... BEAUTIFUL LIES YOU COULD LIVE IN

Pearls Before Swine / Tom Rapp

 

Prog Folk

3.65 | 9 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Pearls Before Swine - ...Beautiful lies you could live in (1972)

PBS is an English slightly psychedelic folk rock band headed by vocalist/songwriter extraordinaire Tom Rapp. With two beautiful psych folk records (Balaklava being one of my all-time favorites) in the late sixties their appearance on progarchives is well earned. In the seventies the band, now more a project around Tom Rapp that changed it's line-up for every album, the band reinvented itself as a powerhouse producing great acoustic, melodic, folksy and bluesy song-writing with some of the best arrangements. The voice of Rapp has an amazing appeal and gives the music a magic touch. 'Beautiful lies you live in' is the last album of 'Pearls Before Swine', after this Tom Rapp would drop the band-name altogether and went on to record three albums as a solo-artist.

On 'Beautiful lies' the band sounds significantly different then on 'City of gold' (1971). On all other PBS albums the emphasis would lie on Rapp's vocals and arrangements having lot's of reverbs in order to create a magic and atmospheric sound. On 'Beautiful lies' there hardly any reverbs to be found and the record has a very down-to-earth sound, more like on a Bob Dylan record. At first this made me feel uncomfortable, being a fan of his the mystical sound of late sixties PBS, but time has proven to be a healing factor in this regard. This album still has some of the amazing song-writing of Rapp an his vocals are still great (albeit with a dry, direct sound). On some songs Rapp is joined by his wife Elizabeth with her pure vocal sound. The arrangements have evolved in a way that there's a real rhythmical section and surprisingly heavy use of the bass-guitar. The PBS magic can still be found in some great songs and harmonic findings that give Rapp the possibility to exploit his gift for making songs work. The atmospheres are recognizable after a few spins; that rare form of quality happiness expressed through emotional, often sad songs. On other songs PBS explores a more mainstream sound with slightly optimistic song-writing, but the depth that the band has to offer remains a blessing. On some songs the fan of progressive music will find interesting harmonies and original findings, but I wouldn't compare this to your typical prog folk.

Conclusion. This is the last PBS album and it's a great last offering for a band that has become one of my favorites. The progressive psych-folk influences of the first two albums are long gone, but the intricate and perfected performances of Tom Rapp and crew are simply unique. It has been hard to find music in the same vein, and if any-one does have a good suggestion your welcome to send me a message. If you would like to have a relaxing, folksy song-writing album with depth this might be a good pick for you. For progressive folk head in the direction of older Pearls Before Swines albums (One Nation Under Ground & Balaklava). Four stars, for I'm simply not willing to deny the quality of this album.

friso | 4/5 |

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