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Strawbs - Ghosts CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.02 | 185 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars With this album, the Strawbs only confirm the success of the formula of preceding H&H album, but better it slightly. Clearly this Strawbs line-up is better in place than on H&H, and the songwriting is rather more inspired. But we are still far away from the genius of the previous Wakeman/Hooper/Hudson/Ford line-up that made those classic folk- prog albums such Curios and Witchwood.

But this is a different era, and even if I fail to get over it completely, this new line-up is is gelling together and reaching top form with a more melodic prog rock approach with their small mini suites, something they had started with Tears And Pavan on the bad BATS album (this was the only good track in it) and then Autumn from the better H&H and now title track Ghosts (with its dark feelings) and Life Auction on this album. These mini-suites are unfortunately greatly erasing the folk prog roots of the roots but there are still some moments that brings you back to their heyday, but maybe this is like throwing salt on an open wound for me. Another irritating thing is the relatively more country twist (they were obviously trying to break the market in America) greatly contrasting with the proggier tracks, are creating a schizophrenic feel. But outside of those two major tracks are many more average tracks out of which only Grace Darling and the short Remembering are noteworthy.

Alas, their second peak is to end with this album (but clearly they had not reached the almost dizzying perfection of the Witchwood album) as the next few records will strongly regress gradually but steadily ending in some awful Deep Cuts or Deadline albums. The better album from the Lambert/Coombes/Cronk/Hawken line-up, clearly not an essential record: Just From The Witchwood can decently claim that pretension.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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