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Happy The Man - Beginnings CD (album) cover


Happy The Man


Eclectic Prog

2.97 | 57 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This collection of early Happy the Man recordings from their earliest years will doubtless be a must-buy for avid fans of the band who can't get enough Kit Watkins material, but personally I can't recommend it particularly highly. Even setting aside the issues with production quality which are part and parcel of decades-old home recordings such as these (though I must say Cuneiform seem to have done an excellent job of producing listenable mixes from them), the fact is that at this very early stage the band simply hadn't honed their songwriting very much and were still groping towards their distinctive style.

On some songs, they're almost there. Leave That Kitten Alone, Armone, nails the tranquil and mellow atmosphere of some of the best work from the debut or Crafty Hands. Other songs clearly aren't polished products yet, occasionally to a comical extent; Don't Look to the Running Sun comes across as a lazy attempt at Genesis imitation, complete with theatrical-sounding vocals from Cliff Fortney who, bless him, just can't quite pull them off without sounding goofy. The rest of the songs exist between these two extremes. Collectors and fans will be keen on this release, but I can't see it appealing to the rest of us.

Warthur | 2/5 |


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