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Amazing Blondel - Fantasia Lindum CD (album) cover

FANTASIA LINDUM

Amazing Blondel

Prog Folk


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Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Oye Oye all you kids out there. We are officially thousands of light years of what you kids call....nu-rock. Yes, take your redingote and your feathered hat, because we're sleeping outdoors tonight.

Yes, we'll sing songs about vertuous gals and play lute just like King's Quest in the old days. We'll chant nice serenade just like...Amazing Blondel. Who are by the way more folk than rock.

But, never fear good pepole, just go deeper in the folk/prog vein and you'll do just fine. I suggest a lot of Gryphon (not a drink, but a band) at first to ease the pill. Sing loud and proud how much you like your girlfriend's eyes, how much her love for you is sweeter than wine...well you get the picture.

This album is a curiosity, no more. Just be careful with the man-pantyhose, the're kinda fruity.

Report this review (#24264)
Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars A must have - this is Amazing Blondel at their peak. It is a wonderful combination of folk and medieval music, played with such clarity and brightness. Do yourself a favour and buy this. My brother bought the LP is the early seventies and I played it over and over.This album is highly recommended, crammed full of excellent tracks. Lincolnshire lullaby is my favourite track, it's so full of poetic warmth and colour. Now that I'm in Australia playing this Album evokes fond memories of Lincolnshire
Report this review (#24266)
Posted Friday, July 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars For this album, Blondel pulled out a multi-movement suite on side1 of the vinyl the title of which gave its name to the album. But progheads beware: if you are not familiar with them, do not expect a full blown epic. Although I tend to think that this track is the centerpiece to Amazing Blondel's oeuvre, it is by no means much different than their other material. A suggested in the review above there is a similarity with Gryphon but it is also the case with Steeleye Span , Tir Na Nog , Malicorne. All of them make it a specialty to record pre-classical era songs with variable meticulosity and strictly on this point/category, Amazing blondel is not the leader at all. This does not mean that it is uninteresting , but they have relatively low prog contents in their albums.
Report this review (#24267)
Posted Monday, February 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars really!

This album hold up Amazing Blondel's discography after two discreet discs. Starting with several songs into an over 20-minutes track, the bands flexs his folky muscles at maximum. Two Dances are fine acoustic pieces, and the rest of the tracks are more of Blondel's pure style, except the closing Siege of Yaddlethorpe, with good percussion by Jim Capaldi (the superb Traffic's drummer) and a nice irish touch. The multi-instrumentalist trio makes here a good effort, and for me it's "An essential masterpiece of folk music", but I think England is more innovative and complete than this one.

Well... One of a few folk masterpieces from our rennaissancy friends.

P.D.: My english isn't good. I'm sorry...

Report this review (#110502)
Posted Friday, February 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars From the perspective of a prog folk fan, "Fantasia Lindum" is the most interesting Amazing Blondel album, chiefly because of the 20 minute title suite. While it merely juxtaposes short songs and lute-ified dances and jigs together, it possesses a lot more continuity than the collection of consecutive tracks from their first couple of albums. In fact, the lead in, denouement, and chorus of "Lincolnshire Lullaby" are sheer brilliance, and the rest of the lengthy pastiche is almost as good. It would be enough to warrant 5 stars except that the latter part of the album, notwithstanding the lovely "Three Seasons Almaine", is less interesting, not even up to the level of the previous disk, "Evensong", while "Siege of Yaddlethorpe" is an assault on the listener. Still, what is good here is amazing, and another solid 4 star effort.
Report this review (#163064)
Posted Sunday, March 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Swifts, swains, leafy lanes

Of the three albums I have heard by this charming little Folk group, this one is the most interesting one. This music is purely acoustic Folk with lovely melodies and sweet harmonies. The 20 plus minute suite that gives this album its title is the definitive highlight of the album and possibly of the band's whole career. While not a Prog epic by any means, this is a quite nice suite alternating between instrumental passages with flutes and some other folky instruments and melodious vocal passages. There is no doubt about the group's talents!

The second side is slightly less effective but follows in the same soft Folk style. It must be emphasised again that there are no drums, bass or electric guitars on this album ensuring that this music completely lacks the Rock aspect. This music is sweet and exceptionally easy on the ear and as such it does not offer very much challenge for the Prog fan. However, many Prog fans would probably be able to enjoy this to some degree, I know I do. Fantasia Lindum is a good and charming progressive Folk album (i.e. not a progressive Rock album). This is recommended, but hardly essential unless you have a special interest in this particular kind of music. If you are checking out Amazing Blondel, this is the right place to start.

Report this review (#239589)
Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The three albums the Amazing Blondel made for Island records with John Gladwin on board are all very good, especially "Fantasia Lindum" and "England". Now, I can't consider them as "progressive rock", they more sort of "progressive Elisabethian" (good one, isnīt it). There is no electric instrumentation and the use of several medieval and renaissance instruments makes a comparison with early Gryphon or John Renbourn Group most relevant. But the Amazing Blondel were a very unique ensemble. It is kaind of amazing that this sort of music was released by the independent Island records. They could hardly expect any chart success!

Fantasia Lindum kicks off with the title suite with short songs with instrumental pieces in between. The acoustic (Spanish) guitars are dominating with Terry Wincotts sweeping recorders and crumhorns on top. In Edward Baird, the band was in posession of one of the finest acoustic guitar players England ever produced. John Gladwin romantic voice is very gentle and very, very English. In short - side one on the original album is the finest piece of music the band ever produced. However, the shorter tunes on the second side is not far behind and "Seige of Yaddlethorpe" even managed to end up on several Island compilations.

"Fantasia Lindum" and the follow up "England" is essential listening for those who appreciate music from olde England. Some people call Amazing Blondelsīmusic "folk music", which I think is a misstake. Itīs more influented by the "nobel" music playd in the courts and manors during the middle ages and the early modern times!

Report this review (#253372)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The long suite (over 20 minutes) that opens this album is actually more a succession of short and individual tracks than actually an epic song. Most of the sections are clearly identifiable and the flute parts are the most enjoyable ones.

The start is somewhat too medieval and typically sounds like British (old) folklore. Still, once you have accepted this fact, their style is positive and animated with some fine and original instruments. Now, to tell you that I am blown away by "Fantasy Lindum" would be daring.

Some nice acoustic and classical guitar sections are the second best ones (after the fluting). But, when vocals are entering the scene, the "Old England" feeling is somewhat exacerbated; a bit too much to be honest. But it is a peaceful fresco.

To tell you the truth it sounds much more to a pure and folkish affair than prog (even folk related). But this feeling is conveyed throughout their works. The short songs from the second part of this work confirm this. In this respect, "To Ye" is probably the best example.

The whole of this second part is quite weak. I can't really find one good track and the closing "Siege Of Yaddlethorpe" is quite ? embarrassing. Five out of ten is really my maximum rating. But I reduce it to two stars.

Report this review (#307272)
Posted Friday, October 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well, this is a big improvement from their previous work but it doesn't mean there's any rock or typical progressive folk attitude. Simply, the Amazing Blondel expanded the frontiers of the small medieval drops "EVENSONG" was made of.

The band embarks on a more adventurous and free number (good effort in improvisation) that embraces the whole first side of the record, opening with a memorable baroque clavier.

As I read somewhere in the internet, the "Fantasia Lindum" suite is the band's tribute to the city of Lincoln, the Lincolnshire countryside and the mediaeval Lincoln Cathedral. A variety of instruments are played, but the central sound is made of (in addition to the occasional clavier sequences) the two lutes of Gladwin and Baird and the wind instruments played by Wincott.

The other side of the album is less interesting and includes madrigal songs and two instrumental tunes. There is the hymn song "Safety in God Alone" and the pipe-organ-and-drums' duet of "Siege of Yaddlethorpe" with guest appearance of TRAFFIC's Jim Capaldi.

Report this review (#635205)
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
TCat
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Team
4 stars Amazing Blondel is a folk band that plays an Elizabethan style folk. Quite frankly, the prog aspect is very lite and the rock aspect, at least on these earlier albums, is virtually non-existent. However, the music is quite enjoyable and it is a nice variation from typical rock music that is mostly prevalent in progressive music. Because it is original in a modern sense, or at least not following a pop sound, that makes it progressive in that respect. The use of acoustic guitars, lutes, woodwinds and other older instruments is what gives the music it's believability. The lyrics are of the old world folkish style and the harmonies seem to be realistic for the most part.

This particular album is one of the better ones in their discography. The 3 main musicians present for this album is the best line-up of the band. This particular album consists of all acoustic music with a very sparse use of percussion. In fact, only 2 songs on this album have any percussion in them. This album consists of a suite of songs over 20 minutes long and 5 more shorter tracks.

The Suite is the focal point of the album and one of the highlights of the band's career. It consists of 10 short songs that are both vocal and instrumental. The movements are quite varied enough to keep the listener from getting bored of the style of music in that some are quite lively while others are pastoral in feel. The instrumentals usually consist of a spotlight on a certain instrument while the vocals are easy to understand and deal with topics not unlike the topics chosen for the original genre of music that the band emulates. This gives this record it's feeling of authenticity. The topic for this suite has to do with the town and country of Lincoln, England (the Latin name for Lincoln is Lindum). The title Fantasia is a little misleading in that a fantasia is usually a free form musical work and this suite is not really free form, but more structured as folk music is expected to be. This track is a very good suite and is enjoyable throughout.

After the suite, there are 5 shorter tracks that pretty much follow the same style. "To Ye" is a straightforward track in the same style, but is slightly less interesting as the suite. It is really nothing special or much different from any thing else on the album. "Safety in God Alone" is probably the best of the shorter tracks here, but it leans a little more to a modern sound with piano, acoustic guitars and what sounds like a tambourine or something similar. The harmonics on this one is also more modern sounding, however, this sound does not take away from the entire album, but actually offers some needed variation in the music. "2 Dances" consists of two very short acoustic instrumentals, one at mid tempo and the second with a nice lilt. These are nice additions to the album. After this we get another vocal in "Three Seasons Almaine" which is another straightforward track with some nice instrumental backing. The last selection is an instrumental called "Siege of Yaddlethorpe" which has a slightly out of place feel to it. I believe the sound is a harmonium playing an appropriate sounding melody, but sounds so out of place in the acoustic instruments. Jim Capaldi from the group "Traffic" adds some nice military sounding drums throughout the track which I believe are overdubbed onto the track.

Overall, this is one of AB's best efforts and most of that comes from the Suite, though the additional songs are a nice touch also. I don't know if I can call the entire album a masterpiece, but the suite comes close to it. However, there is really nothing new or noteworthy to call it essential. I can easily give this a strong 4 star rating however. It is great music and very nice to have as part of my collection.

Report this review (#1367001)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | Review Permalink

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