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The Incredible String Band - The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter CD (album) cover


The Incredible String Band


Prog Folk

3.42 | 58 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars A self consciously dissonant and dissident work, "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" is hard to appreciate outside the context of its time of release, with drug induced hippie fantasies dominating the nascent album oriented music scene. This middle and far eastern wide eyed consciousness even made it into some hit singles of the day, but ISB was of course too cool for that.

Robin Williamson and Mike Heron are just too aware of themselves and their charade here to come across as convincing. Even the most off kilter vocal harmonies and out of the blue drum rolls, and believe me there are many of both, sound like they have been rehearsed ad infinitum. The lack of compelling songs only draws their self absorption into focus, so that you really need to have tripped on whatever they were taking to feel any sense of belonging with and acceptance by the clique. All I can remember by the end is the aforementioned voices and lots of meandering sitar, even though I think a variety of other precious instruments fall into the ring. For instance "Mercy I cry City" is ISB does Dylan, poorly. The "Minotaur Song" is one place where the song is not sacrificed to the "atmosphere", while "A Very Cellular Song" has some worthwhile segments that are legitimately adventurous.

Stripped of its rampant solipsism, this daughter is a plain Jane.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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