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Spirit - Farther Along CD (album) cover





2.67 | 19 ratings

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3 stars This album is a 50/50 proposition really, but the good half is really good. All of the original members reunite with the exception of Jay Ferguson; Mark Andes' brother Matt takes his place. Farther Along almost works, unlike the later The Thirteenth Dream: The Spirit of '84. 1976 was Bicentennial Year and America was happily embracing its diversity and freedom; Farther Along expresses a musical cross section of the USA at the time.some good, some bad, and some ugly.

The record opens hopefully with the title song, but the next tune, Atomic Boogie, is a sure skipper, ala funking Kool and the Gang brand disco. The next number is the very pleasant, and slightly Steve-Milleresque, World Eat World Dog, yet that is followed by the positively horrid Stoney Night (whatever the heck that is). Following that, straight from the local roller rink, comes the mildly amusing and quirky instrumental Pineapple, The side is then appropriately capped off with the neither here nor there Colossus.

The second side raises the bar somewhat from the outset with Mega Star, a song very much in the early Spirit style. In contrast, the next number is anomalous in the Spirit discography: the soothing and radio friendly Phoebe. Don't Lock Up Your Door, the next song, sounds like it was stolen from The Eagles with its very California hippy style of country-folk. Once With You is another weak one, but Diamond Spirit sounds as if it was an outtake from Clear: it's darkly orchestrated and emotional.

The real surprise closes this frustrating disc with the orchestral version of Nature's Way It is as if Spirit had already left the building and they just might have four LP's previously and most folks wouldn't have minded. They will have missed out. Farther Along appears to be a dog's breakfast, but a discerning ear may detect a conceptual context, or at least a theme anyway( not that that makes the music any better). Nonetheless, there are a few treasures among the detritus; that's what Farther Along is all about.

vingaton | 3/5 |


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