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Amber - Pearls of Amber CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.98 | 6 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Only one review before mine but it seems to say already everything. I was given this CD yesterday without knowing anything about AMBER in advance. "Originally recorded in 1971 but not officially released until 2000", says the album info. Funnily, as there are no running times but a "Discography" naming two titles with three tracks in both (dating 1971 and 1970, as a matter of fact), one could expect to hear an extended disc featuring two albums with long songs. Alas, only about 24 minutes of music here! But what can be done if this short-lived group didn't record more. A pity really, because the music is pleasing to a folk-rock listener.

Donovan is mentioned as a comparison. Why not. But happily these songs are not in the same irritating hippie-yippie Sunshine Superman mould as some of Donovan's best known songs. Also I like these vocals much more. As the songs are rather calm and hazy, Nick Drake came to my mind too for the atmosphere. Of course this stuff is more psychedelic but remains quite safely in the acoustically oriented folk troubadour music. The AMBER sound is distinctive because of the continuous use of sitar and tabla. Yet pure Raga-Rock this is not: Eastern influences are kept otherwise quite minimal.

So you really don't have to love either Raga-Rock or Psychedelia to enjoy this, if vintage folk is your thing. Sadly there's only five various songs of regular length ('Sea Shell Rock Me' has two versions), perhaps none strikingly jumping off as very surprising, but three solid stars feels like the right rating from me too. It makes me wonder why this music had to wait so long before release. I guess it's a lost little gem of Psych-Folk.

Matti | 3/5 |


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