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Strawbs - Dragonfly CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.15 | 119 ratings

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5 stars Wonderful Music.

This is, to my mind, the best-ever Strawbs album. Of course, I also love GNW, Witchwood, H&H, and Ghosts (among others) but this one is the most special. I think the lower scores here on PA for this album reflect that this is mostly folk, with very little rock (let alone prog), and I think many might be tempted to listen to it only once for this reason. However, folk music in particular requires multiple listens before one can feel its merits. I have been listening to the Strawbs - one of my favourite bands - for over 20 years, and this one has slowly but steadily been rising to the top, beating out the others. It is the one that best stands the test of time. To my ears it is the most musical, and contains some of the most timeless pieces, in their entire collection. While their debut album is very much dated to the sound (and topics) of the mid-late 1960s (including the reaction of the critics - who now would want to ban "The Man Who Called Himself Jesus"?), 'Dragonfly' represents eternal truths. The songs are life-affirming and get at our deeper humanity. So many of the songs - "The Weary Song", "Young Again", "Turned My Face...", "Till the Sun...", these are all songs with which we can all today easily identify, they have lost none of their poignancy. The cello (the only album in which they had a full-time cello player), adds a lot of ambiance to the album, and weight to the songs. The long epic "Vision of the Lady in the Lake" speaks of our inability (as a species) to see an illusion for what it is (lie), particularly when that illusion is something we so want to believe in (and even when we know the truth deep down), and thus hints at our destiny to always repeat history. Dave Cousins voice is so perfectly suited to this tale. The title track, "Dragonfly" is a beautiful study in how utter simplicity sometimes produces the best, most timeless music - one of my very favourite songs (and in the top 3 of Strawbs songs for me). When I rate albums here on PA, I am not thinking of what one might appreciate on first listen, but instead what album one might want to put on after listening to it over many many years. Some albums sound great on first, second, or third listen, but then lose their interest after additional spins. Other albums grow on you slowly, and some of the these just keep getting better with every year. 'Dragonfly' is one of the latter. It is one of the albums I know I will still be listening to in another 20 years (and with every listen you and I will be young again!). I give it 9.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale - in my top 30 albums of all time.

Walkscore | 5/5 |


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