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IN THE GARDEN

Gypsy

Eclectic Prog


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thejarmans@ea
4 stars Extremely under-rated band. This album contains the tight harmonies that are the bands signature sound. Guitar/organ work also tight and well-plated. Drum solo on Here In The Garden outstanding. Listen to the lyrics of As Far As You Can See and Blind Man. Gypsy made three great albums and one that was very good but not great. This band made music that you need to listen to in order to fully appreciate. Definite worth owning. This album, their second, is a great one.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#30866)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars A good record indeed, but not very proggy but more a kind of organ-based hard rock album with softer vocals. The organist is great, I wonder why he didn't appear with other groups after Gypsy's disbanding. I'm not very fond of drum-solos on studio albums so one star less for the drum-solo on the title track.

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Send comments to ekaton (BETA) | Report this review (#50001)
Posted Tuesday, October 04, 2005 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Gypsy's second output "In The Garden" had been similar to their debut still in a very interesting and highly appealing (at least to me) proto Prog mold, maybe even with more organ sound and more rocking. Not that much had changed in their style, only the string arrangements from their fisrt one had disappeared though. Outstanding track is here of course the 12-min piece "As Far As You Can See" sounding highly versatile with several mood and tempo shifts and not lengthy at all as it was the case with "Dead And Gone". Second side of the original vinyl starts in a more mellow and acoustic vein with part one of "Here (In The Garden)" which is completed with a fantastic drum/percussion solo leading over to part two returning to a more up-tempo and rocking pace. This two-parted track is certainly the highlight of side two and the remaining two ones pale a bit besides it I've to say without being true failures. Overall this one might still be a worthy purchase for any collector of proto Prog and I'd rather give it a rating of 3 ½ stars. Not really essential though and only about 70 percent of its almost 37 minutes running time are actually great!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#100774)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars By the time Gypsy entered the studio to record their second album (and the final one for Metromedia Records), their entire rhythm section had been replaced. Bongo player Preston Epps was gone, and former Blues Image percussionist Joe Lala sat in his place along with future Doobie Brother Willie Weeks on bass and soon-to-be Robin Trower drummer Bill Lordan. The core of the band in the form of guitarists Jim Johnson and Enrico Rosenbaum and keyboardist Walsh remained, but much of the group’s signature inflected percussion and almost world music sound had been replaced by a more straightforward heavy rock vibe. Rosenbaum seems to have decided to explore a more psych guitar sound, and Walsh’s keyboards are much less innovative and pronounced than on the band’s debut. The album barely slid into the bottom of the charts briefly before sinking, this one even more quickly than the last.

The music on this record is much less adventurous than the debut, and in a productivity reversal the band went from a double-album first album to a sophomore release that was barely thirty-seven minutes long and featured only seven tracks. Nearly a third of the record is consumed by the lengthy “As Far as you can See”, a sluggish and unambitious arrangement filled mostly with heavy organ fills and slightly fuzzed guitar. The gorgeous vocal harmonies from the first album are mostly gone here as well, although on this and “Here in the Garden” (I & II) the band attempts to revive those, but without much success.

There’s even a blues-rock number with “Blind Man”, another of many Gypsy songs that sounds a bit like an understated Chicago number without any of the spacious brass that band was so known for.

The album closes with another piano-laden song titled “Time Will Make it Better”. But unfortunately such would not be the case for the band, and despite the switch to a major label with RCA their next two albums drifted even further away from the creative sounds that made their first and best record so memorable.

This is an album by a band that still possesses a great deal of talent, but seems to have lacked the spark to reach for anything new or ambitious. They would drift apart shortly after releasing a fourth album in 1973, the victims of changing times and waning commitment. While I’d like to give ‘In the Garden’ at least three stars, it really doesn’t rate that and is most likely something only old fans of the group will find much to be interested in. Gypsy were a briefly interesting band who may have done better had they started their career on a major label with better support instead of the terminally money-strapped Metromedia. But these things happen, and as a result this goes down in history as a two-star effort. Only recommended for fans and the mildly curious.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#175828)
Posted Monday, June 30, 2008 | Review Permalink

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