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Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.78 | 131 ratings

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3 stars Quite honestly, these are folk tunes plugged in. But in these electrically adapted folk tunes are some lively performances from the instrumentalists who seem to be having fun with the material.

As for the tunes themselves, the dynamic range varies from full throttle, foot-stomping rock to near quietude. It is quite interesting how the album opens with the lively ''Come All Ye'' followed directly by ''Reynardine'' with more sparse instrumentation; the two songs sound like they are meant to be connected.

The two tracks near the epic length are lengthy by lyrical content which is usually a huge turnoff for me, but the crescendo of sorts in ''Matty Groves'' and the groove of ''Tam Lin'' (watch the time sig counter) have a solid enough backbone to support their lengths.

Consistent quality can be an issue. Right after the highlight of ''Tam Lim'', ''Crazy Man Michael'' ends the album on way too soft of a note (I would have preferred ''Farewell, Farewell'' as a closer, but that point is moot), almost dull even. Sandy Denny does have a fantastic voice, but there are times I feel she simply isn't into it.

A lot of reviewers don't care for the medley smack in the middle of the album. I actually enjoy the thing even if its purpose is to showcase Dave Swarbrick's skills. Still, that track ended up being the difference maker for me.

If you enjoy folk music updated to modern (for the 60's) standards, this is a classic. Slightly missing it on the prog side of things, though.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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