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Strawbs - Acoustic Strawbs: Baroque & Roll CD (album) cover



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5 stars The fans of the Strawbs, and especially the Progressive fans, would probably think that an accoustic album, containing some of the finest moments of the "Electric Strawbs", must be dull and boring. well, surprise, surprise!! this album is completely different then any of the 'Un Pluged' TV shows you ever heard. Accustic Strawbs is one of the unique example of how an Un Pluged album should be. Three Accustic Guitars, held by Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert and Brian Willoughby sound like a full band. every on of the trio is playind different chords and solos, and even the most ellectric songs, such as "Down by the sea" from "Bursting at the seams" or "The flower and the young man" and "Benedictus" from "Grave New World", sound like a full orchestra is preforming. the voices of Cousins and Limbert, never sounded so Sharp and sensative as in this masterpice and there are some new songs in this album, that fit supperbly in to the context, such as the beautiful sog writen by Willoughby, "Alices Song" and Lambert's "Inside your hell tonight". in the Days when every Alternative "Artist" that released five singels is going on a documented unpluged toure, it is delightfull to listen to these three Real musicians that are playing theire eternal music and give us a true Glimpse of Heaven.

Report this review (#19769)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I listened to this album over and over, thinking it was going to someday seduce me into believing that it was as good as it ought to be. The main problem, I think, is that the available time and budget simply wouldn't permit the performers from getting everything right. The vocals are often problematic (weak or shrill), the instrumental performances sometimes glitchy (not-so-smooth fretwork), and the arrangements are too simple (more strings, and stuff like flute or oboe would've helped). There are saving graces which make the album worth keeping, like the lovely "Alice's Song". Some of the "favorites", however, made me want to listen to the original versions.
Report this review (#19771)
Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Evergreen

Baroque & Roll is an album credited to "Acoustic Strawbs" and was released at a time when Strawbs had not released anything new for quite some years. As such it could be seen as a welcome sign of life and pointing to a brighter future. But it was probably not what long time fans of the band had been waiting for. The material here was not new, but is rather acoustic re-makes of classic Strawbs songs. Some of these re-makes are better than others and some feel rather unnecessary. However, it is overall a pleasant listen.

The core of the band here is Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert, and Brian Willoughby, but there is also a string section on song songs (and I'm sure I can hear some non-acoustic instruments). The string section makes some parts into what one might perhaps call "chamber Folk".

The most progressive pieces here include striped down renditions of Ghosts and The Riven/Down By The Sea. Evergreen is a beautiful song. Nothing here is essential or better than the originals, but it functions as a nice complement. My advice is to make sure to get the original albums from which these songs were taken before investing in Baroque & Roll. But once you've gotten that far, the present album (along with the similar Painted Sky) is a worthy addition as well.

Report this review (#955043)
Posted Monday, May 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars On second thought... I, like many, was disappointed when I first heard this album. What? No new material? No bass or drums? No keyboards? This is a new recording by one of the greatest prog groups ever. Are you kidding? Well, after a few years of second listens (after hearing Painted Sky without all the preconceived baggage) all I can say is that this album is an under appreciated jewel. The low key and, no doubt, low cost production adds a warm homemade vibe to this recording and Dave Cousins is still in relatively good voice at this stage. The guitar interplay between Dave Lambert and Brian Willobougby is stellar despite a couple of awkward moments. Indeed, there is even a croaked vocal by Cousins and an obvious flubbed lyric from Lambert that were no doubt deliberately left uncorrected. An inside joke, perhaps, that makes the album all the more endearing to me. It's also fascinating to hear all three guitarists recreate all the keyboards and orchestrations of the songs almost to the point that they are not even missed. If you liked Deja Fou and Painted Sky, but found this album lacking the first time around, please give it a second chance to appreciate it for what is and not what we thought it was supposed to be.
Report this review (#1160238)
Posted Friday, April 11, 2014 | Review Permalink

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