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The Pentangle - Cruel Sister CD (album) cover


The Pentangle


Prog Folk

3.41 | 56 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I thought that BASKET OF LIGHT was an instant breath of fresh air in the prog-folk realm; have a strong folk base but allow jazz and rock to creep into the structure of the band giving a fresh and progressive take on an otherwise very traditional genre of music. The followup CRUEL SISTER doesn't feel quite as fresh, but still a tremendous album nevertheless.

What I don't like about CRUEL SISTER is how the jazz and rock framework from the previous album gets marginalised here. Other than Denny Thompson's basslines, we're mostly in the folk business here. And I understand that Jacqui McShee is a good folk singer, but the acapella piece ''When I Was in My Prime'' is unnecessary.

There's a lot to like about CRUEL SISTER, like the cold and haunting title track whose bassline is rather chilling. ''A Maid That's Deep in Love'' and ''Lord Franklin'' are good enough folk songs for what they're worth. But a lot of the weight of this record is on the sidelong epic ''Jack Orion'', an epic that more than delivers on its length. The pacing of the piece is near perfect, seamlessly flowing from one idea to the next yet giving the audience ample time to digest each theme properly. There's no going overboard with this piece; it's better than advertised.

I still find CRUEL SISTER to be a slight letdown from its predecessor immediate, but that doesn't stop it from being a fantastic folk album in its own right.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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