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Traffic - The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.06 | 313 ratings

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3 stars In contrast to many others, I think Traffic took a step backward from John Barleycorn Must Die (not a giant step though). I had never been a huge fan of their two major hits off the album (Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys and Rock & Roll Stew), but I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of other tunes that I hadn't been exposed to before. While certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination, I just don't feel the energy and creativity that I did with their previous album.

Hidden Treasure. The title is appropriate for my experience, because I was very pleasantly surprised by this relatively simple tune featuring the flute and acoustic guitar. Nothing complicated, but catchy and a good way to open an album.

The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. I've never gotten into this one. The loping tempo is a bit too slow (and I think even the chorus feels like it's dragging as well), and there's just not enough happening for the duration of the song with the exception of lively and entertaining keys--a good chorus with too little surrounding it for nearly 12 minutes.

Rock & Roll Stew, Light Up or Leave Me Alone. Both straightforward singles that are good but not terribly memorable: the former with a nice funky beat and the latter a rocker with a classic Traffic rhythm and some nice guitar.

Many a Mile to Freedom. This is the album highlight for me, with the happiness and creativity that I like from Traffic. It features a great melody (well sung by Winwood too), with some excellent flute and a very enjoyable jam to close out the song. I wish there was more where this came from.

Rainmaker. Another excellent song that taps the Traffic sound. Pleasant harmonies and haunting flute open the song, with a very nice funky twist to close it. I like this more every time I hear it.

Of course, I'm very glad to have this in my collection, and most proggers and classic rockers alike will feel the same. Unfortunately, for me Traffic seem perfectly satisfied to stick to relatively simple jams and standard rock numbers with little actual progression. I would suggest John Barleycorn Must Die before this album.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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