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The Merlin Bird - Reason and Rhyme CD (album) cover


The Merlin Bird


Prog Folk

3.63 | 5 ratings

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4 stars I don't even know if this group plays Christian rock, and the title of their recently released first full length album implies such, but this all too short EP from some years back evokes a sense of wonder and awe that one would expect to find more in popular devotional music. From the lush production to the harmonious vocals to the Olde English styled melodies, this is a true delight from down under. They bring to mind FARPOINT from the Southern USA but their male and female vox are less at odds, and they radiate a much more united stylistic vision.

Here we have basically three short tracks interspersed with tracks, such that one barely stumbles into the glade before getting spun back out onto the sidelines. The opening of "Rhyme to Reason" eerily recalls early MOODY BLUES psychedelia, but MERLIN BIRD is able to wed this ethereal quality to earthiness with breathless verses and hypnotically rhythmic acoustic textures. A well placed lead guitar interlude ups the progressive rock ante. Still, the EP really crests on "The Father of Storms", a dignified ode to natural and human unpredictability as the pure source of their beauty. Those who enjoy earth centered music will willingly acquiesce.

It took a number of listens for me to realize just how short changed I feel, but I'm glad to have discovered "The Merlin Bird" now at a time when the band/duo has actually issued a proper release called "Chapter and Verse". Reasons to be cheerful.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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