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Magna Carta - Seasons + Songs From Wasties Orchard CD (album) cover


Magna Carta


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4.05 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This twofer is a perfect starting point into this vintage Folk Rock band. Not a single song is missing from either Seasons (1970) or Songs From the Wasties Orchard (1972), both being classic albums, very pleasant and slightly different from each other. Progheads will happily notice the side-long title suite 'Seasons' and the keyboard work by Rick Wakeman gracing both albums. (Oh, VDGG bassist Nic Potter is guesting too...).

The band's core trio handles only vocals, guitars and some percussion, but under Tony Visconti's professional production operates a large number of guest musicians. If you don't know how this band sounds like, imagine a cross between THE STRAWBS of the time and SIMON & GARFUNKEL; really I think that the soft songs especially remind me of the duo somehow. In the Prog Folk genre, where they clearly ought to be, they hardly offer anything groundbreaking, but it's easy to enjoy them. The music is mellow and warm, beautifully aged, maybe even TOO soft for some listeners, but definitely not boring. The playing is full of rich details, such as Wakeman's celeste on 'White Show Dove' or Tim Renwick's recorder on some songs.

However, do not expect the 22-minute 'Seasons' to be PROG as you may take the term. Basically it's quite a simple chain of short songs and poem-centred interludes painting a pastoral picture of the four seasons. Also I must say that the majority of the 18 shorter songs on this whole CD are not very memorable individually. I prefer the Seasons album; it has that beautiful suite and some little gems such as 'Elizabethan', while the latter, more country-flavoured album with the greater number of songs has some tracks I'd call fillers. Not that there wouldn't be those little gems on it too. All in all, very pleasant CD. The front cover is very lousy in the tasteless two-in-one manner, but you find the original covers inside, as well as a detailed essay. I wish to hear more from this band.

Matti | 4/5 |


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