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Faun Fables - Family Album CD (album) cover


Faun Fables


Prog Folk

3.58 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Third album (chronologically speaking, but not so sure it isn't the second release) of FF, but this is the album that brought them to the spotlight (all things relative, of course), and indeed it is a solid step forward from the debut early songs and its follow-up, which I haven't heard. Based on a concept around, you guessed it, family, this album is a huge improvement, as Dawn McCarthy develops her weird and eerie wonderworld, with all of her angst hanging out in the wide open, exposed for everyone to see. An extremely personal and intimate album, but this is not always a quality, because some of the moods exposed might have been better kept private, IMHO. The conceptual booklet, unless you are completely compelled to McCarthy's universe, will not entice you to get into the weirdness of her family's exploits

The album starts rather extremely well with a haunting Eyes Of A Bird (one of the stronger moments of the album) where the tracks find an acoustic guitar picking groove and the flute complements McCarthy's plaintive and haunting vocals. The lenghty opener overstays a bit its welcome, but compensate with some tremendous ghastly and loony vocalizings. Maintaining a good level, Poem 2 is another eerie song accompanied by a 12-string guitar and chimes, segueing surreptitiously into Mother And Piano, but by the end of that track it is clear that the formula is over-exploited, and boredom/irritation is around the corner. Fortunately with Lady Belle, it is sung by her acolyte Frykdal and has more dynamic, but if you listen well, outside the arrangements, this track resembles much the previous ones. Joshua changes a bit by introducing a haunting cello to the Chinese flute, the track slowly crescendo-ing and having the album at its peak.

And unfortunately, it's all downhill from here on, with a child-sung Nop of Time and a hit-and-miss Still Here, where some real highs like some vocals reminding Peter Hammill's gut-wrenching vocals, but also the same guitar arpeggios since the start of the album, making it very repetitive by now. Higher is more of the same, and Carrousel being the last highlight of the album. And once she does change around the last quarter of the album, many ideas are poor, such as an old-timer sounding track Rising Din, the falsely wild Fear March (arranged to sound creepy ala Comus meeting medieval, but not succeeding) and the frantic Eternal. The end of the album even becomes painful and by the time McCarthy gets some real goofy ideas like a dumb yodelling Mouse Song (she will repeat this hideous idea on their next album) and fishtail-ending the album ion a non-track, bringing us back to the front cover of the family album.

All things consider, FF's FA is a flawed interesting album: rather unenthusing family concept, excellent start, but abusing the good ideas by overstaying their welcome to the listeners, and when finally realizing it needs a change, starting well, but quickly losing it the plot and ending in a cringey and awful manner. Although one 60 minutes-long, the album seems to last at least twice that length, partly due to the repetitive arpeggios track, then a succession of failed ideas. Better start with the next album.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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