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Alquin - The Mountain Queen CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.81 | 107 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Not only is this the best Alquin album , it is one of the best albums of the 1970's period.The interplay between the musicians is superb , everyone a master of their instrument, and the playing is disciplined and without ego. It has been said that the vocals are the weak link in Alquin but I disagree, in fact I think they lost a great deal when they recruited a singer for the follow up album and thereby becoming another stereotype rock band .

They found their own identity with "The Mountain Queen " and it has to be said they lost their direction after this.We can be grateful they made this masterpiece, and I can testify their concerts at this time were marvellous and well received by audiences.

To the music itself. The album is divided between five tracks, and the themes are split between "The Dance/Convicts of the air " and "Mountain Queen".A nice instrumental called " Soft eyed woman" creates an interlude in the running order , and with a great blow at the end entitled "Mr Barnum Jr's Magnificent and Fabulous City " The album has a flow and plays like a concept album and by that I mean the music has a unified feel and the ideas are linked by the delivery of the vocals and the playing.This is why this album never works when these tracks are separated , they should be played as a whole, preferably in one sitting.

In the first part the singer seems to have fallen in love with an air stewardess , and the second part is open for interpretation but seems to be a story set in the guise of a folk tale.It's the delivery of the lyrics that counts though,the soft vocals lend something extra to the music which has great atmosphere,and that is what this album is all about, atmosphere.

The instrumentation include flutes, saxes, keyboards, aswell as guitar, drums and bass and the musicianship is firstclass throughout. It would be unfair to single anyone out here , all the playing is great.This is a wonderful , lyrical album and it is very emotive. The sleeve is excellent , very subtle and understated on the front, the image on the back is pretty hard but nontheless still intriguing after thirty years, and the inside photo of the band on the gatefold album sleeve is very inventive and gives out a good feeling.

I recommend this album without any reservation at all , but try and get the vinyl , It is a lovely object. Happy listening.........

| 5/5 |


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