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Wishbone Ash - Nouveau Calls CD (album) cover

NOUVEAU CALLS

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

2.92 | 72 ratings

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tonythekingfisher
4 stars As it says in the sleeve notes, the brief for this album runs 100% contrary to the industry norm. Miles Copeland got the original line up together to record an instrumental album where they could play their instruments free of any other consideration. The twin lead guitars are, as ever, much in evidence but are supplemented by judicious use of mandolin, banjo, lap steel and even some keyboards. It's more proggy than anything they did since Argus.

Does it work? To a very large extent, yes. The playing is interesting, the material is consistently listenable but some tracks do lack the true spark of greatness. Clousseau and In the Skin are excellent, bit the real highlight is the last three tracks on side 2 (I have the vinyl!), all from the mighty pen of Andy Powell, where the band soars like they did on Argus; exquisitely composed and played. The lack of vocals is odd, because on the follow up, Here to Hear, they showed that their excellent lyrical and vocal ability was still there in spades and their tour to promote Nouveau Calls was a triumph, complete with vocals on all the early songs. I saw them in Newcastle and the Ash fans treated them like gods on their second coming; the songs from this album stuck out a bit due to their instrumental nature but were well received.

So why did Miles Copeland commission this album? Truthfully, I don't know. He wouldn't make money because it's far from commercial stuff. All I can assume is that he was a rich man who wanted to hear one of his favourite bands back together. For that, we owe him all a favour. Not quite a masterpiece, but a good 4* effort and well worth buying.

| 4/5 |

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