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Strawbs - Grave New World CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 355 ratings

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Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This was the very first album I ever bought and I still love it 35 years on. They had a hard act to follow in From the Witchwood, made much harder by the departure of Rick Wakeman to Yes. However, Blue Weaver steps in with a radically different but superbly effective contribution, especially with his mellotron work, and the album succeeds beyond all reasonable expectations. The tracks vary considerably in style from acoustic to much heavier electric tracks, a far cry from their roots in bluegrass folk, and they utilise silver bands and sitar to broaden the sound. It broadly follows a life from birth to death and could even be classed as a concept album. Benedictus is simply a beautiful, almost hymn- like song which was a much played single, New World is angry and vitriolic and the Flower and the Young Man a gentle song about the folly of youth. Heavy Disguise and Tomorrow show the more progressive style of the band well. The last three tracks vary in style considerably but provide a perfect ending to the journey. All four vocalists are first class, the musicianship is top notch and there are no weak tracks. Add to this a cover for the LP that has artwork to die for and is probably the most lavish ever made (except perhaps Horslips' Happy to Meet, Sorry to Part!) and you have an album for which less than 5 stars would be an insult. My only regret is that it's so short - 36 minutes is nothing nowadays - but it's a triumph of quality over quantity. Buy it, but try to get it on vinyl for the cover alone!
Tony Fisher | 5/5 |


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