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Traffic - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys CD (album) cover

THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS

Traffic

 

Eclectic Prog

4.01 | 198 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Raff
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you expect symphonic, Genesis-style prog, this record is not for you. However, if you think 'progressive' means not only Mellotron and classical leanings, but also an exciting blend of influences coming from folk, jazz, classic rock'n'roll and even blues and soul, you could do worse than give "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" a listen - and possibly more than one. Although not on the same level as the band's 1970 masterpiece, "John Barleycorn Must Die", this is certainly a more than worthwile addition to any prog record collection.

There are only five tracks on this album, two of which ("Light Up or Leave Me Alone" and "Rock 'n' Roll Stew") are more classic rock than prog - besides not being sung by the inimitable Steve Winwood, without any doubt one of the best vocalists in the history of rock. His voice may be more suited to blues- and soul-tinged tracks than to straightforward prog, but listen to his performance on the title-track (the highlight of the album, a marvellous 12 minutes of vocal and instrumental delight) in order to fully realise his worth. Smoky, wistful, even sensual, Winwood's voice can give shivers down one's spine, enhancing even those which would be ordinary tunes if sung by someone else.

There is a lot of percussion on this record, provided by Jim Capaldi, Jim Gordon and the African percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah,the latter adding a pinch of exotic spice to the whole.This is a mellow, rather laid-back album, but one which is deceptively easy on the ear, as it needs repeated listens to be really appreciated in full. I would recommend it to everyone who's not afraid of expanding his or her musical boundaries.

Raff | 4/5 |

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