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Strawbs - Nomadness CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.54 | 73 ratings

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Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Oh dear! The cover says it all; the band is in a toilet and this album nearly belongs in one as well. After the highly commendable Ghosts, John Hawken had left, later to reform Renaissance mk 1 as Illusion, leaving the band without a full time keyboards player. John Mealing and Rick Wakeman guest when required, though in retrospect, I suspect they wish they hadn't.

The songs are different too. Gone are the extended tracks from earlier albums, such as Autumn or Ghosts, replaced by shorter and poppier offerings. And there are some good songs, too. The Golden Salamander is a simple, beautiful song, pared to the basics of Cousins' voice and a guitar accompaniment. Cronk's The Promised Land is a fine song with heavy keyboards and a storyline, well sung by Dave Lambert. Absent Friend is bizarre and different to anything else; some love it, some hate it; Cousins in suicidal mood again. Most of the remaining songs are lightweight, mostly fairly pleasant but lack any depth. (Like a pint of lager, they don't offend but give almost no satisfaction, either.) Tokio Rosie is the exception; a single designed to crack the States, it plumbs depths I thought Strawbs would never reach. Their style moves a little back to their folk roots without ever threatening to recapture the magic of From the Witchwood or Grave New World.

This was the beginning of a long decline for Strawbs, as they turned out several very inconsistent albums in succession. However, this was probably the worst album of all and none of the songs on it feature regularly in their live act today. Definitely one for hardcore fans only.

Tony Fisher | 2/5 |


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