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Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day CD (album) cover


Vashti Bunyan


Prog Folk

3.56 | 23 ratings

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3 stars Given how few people actually heard this the first time around, I'm guessing that its resurgence in the last decade is not nostalgia based, which is to Bunyan's credit. Nonetheless, I feel that a wistful if inaccurate reconstruction of childhood memories might have been my ticket to greater appreciation. This is a pretty and precious recording in which the artist's delicate voice seems no match for even a studio breeze. It possesses a beauty all its own chiefly in the lyrical imagery and the childlike meters, the former reminiscent of STRAWBS "Dragonfly" and the latter of, even more than the inevitable NICK DRAKE comparisons, GORDON LIGHTFOOT's contemporary masterwork "Sit Down Young Stranger" aka "If you could read my mind". Her voice is somewhere between JONI MITCHELL and MAIRE BRENNAN of CLANNAD.

The opening and title cut is one of the highlights, thanks to one of the more memorable melodies and the sprightly recorder arrangements courtesy of ROBERT KIRBY, and "Come Wind Come Rain" and "Hop Along Bess" shine for similar reasons. On the more somber end is the equally effective "Rose Hip November", while the extra tracks, particularly "Love Song", suggest a talent that could have hit the charts a lot harder a year or two earlier, when idealism had not yet faded. The problem in general is that the material sounds no better on the 10th listen than on the first. Enjoyable, yes, but also without any edge whatsoever.

For a certain type of fan, "Just Another Diamond Day" represents an escape to a simpler more bucolic time that trumps the utter lack of progressiveness. I can appreciate that, but, with all due respect and with no intent to tarnish, I would rather walk down the aisle with the better works of the aforementioned artists.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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