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Topic ClosedI just ordered Strawbs new album. Expectations?

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SouthSideoftheSky View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: I just ordered Strawbs new album. Expectations?
    Posted: August 29 2009 at 15:42
 
I just ordered Strawbs new album Dancing To The Devils Beat (from play.com). Has anyone heard it yet? The cover art is quite awful I must say, but the music might be very good. Or what do you think? 
 
I really liked the previous Broken Hearted Bride from last year and this album is now the highest rated Strawbs album since Ghosts from 1975!
 
Expectations?
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kenethlevine View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2009 at 22:34
I've listened a few times and I don't think it's as good as BHB.  One of the problems is that Cousins' continues to use his voice in ways that it is now not suited.  On BHB I thought the producer did a good job of managing those weaknesses, but he seems to have let down his guard here, especially on the first 2 tracks.  His voice was poor on Deja Fou but I thought that the strength of the tunes made up for it.

Then Cousins also insists on showing how eclectic his musical interests are, with a country-ish vluesy piece and a hard rock boogie song, neither of which do anything good for Strawbs reputation.  They just aren't meant for those styles, and as I complained even on BHB, the group has lost its melodic knack.  This is especially true on "Beneath the Angry Sky", with a godawful verse but a chorus as powerful as "Lay Down".   If the verse had been at least decent, it would be a classic Strawbs track.

In terms of progressive, there is nothing like "Through Aphrodite's Eyes" but there are still several tracks that contain progressive aspects.  There are some good ideas here and there and plenty of fine moments, some of them thanks to Oliver Wakeman, but my assessment right now is 3 stars.

Hope you enjoy
Ken


Edited by kenethlevine - September 02 2009 at 22:35
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2009 at 12:16
 
Thanks Ken!
 
I too have listened a few times now and I must say that I am disappointed! I agree with you that Deja Fou has much stronger tunes. I'm leaning towards two stars.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:24
I just came back to it after a 2 week absence and am enjoying it more, but the only song I would say is great  is "When Silent Shadows Fall", mostly because of the last few minutes.  The Pro Patria Suite is nice, especially to hear Cousins' banjo picking and Wakeman's versatility, but not much proggy there to speak of.  I'm leaning to 3 stars. 
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