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Albion - Remake CD (album) cover





3.98 | 24 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars This double CD repackages ALBION's first two disks in all their repetitive glory, with more duplicate versions than the re are versions of "Tubular Bells" even now. The early history of the group explains this anomaly, but this two-fer is probably still a superior option to the originals, mostly because of the 5 bonus tracks, 4 of which date to the period immediately following the self titled release and all of which are sung in Polish. The 5th dates from 2006, close to the time they issued their only fully Polish language album. It's all enjoyable, with "Sarajevo" and "Collapse" respectively reflecting the influence of COLLAGE and paradoxically presaging the COLLAGE successor SATELLITE, while the mammoth "Golgotha" seems to be a one-off (two-off?) stylistically, attaining levels of complexity that the band would only rarely attempt in future offerings while admittedly as brooding as ever. These more than compensate for the pop sheen of "You" and the developmentally challenged "Scarecrow".

The aforementioned bonuses reveal a band setting out in 40 directions at once, from the country ish "Nie Wiem" to the more rock but hook oriented "Wszystko jedno" to the folk influenced "Deszcz" and "Zanurzona", which hint at their future tendency to close albums with a nod to roots not otherwise evident, though here the delights are far more acoustically oriented, if no less rewarding. In short, the bonus cuts do not appreciably reflect their predominant style and approach once they finally laid down tracks for posterity a decade later, or the decade after that for that matter.

While early demos and tentative recordings are sometimes best left to archivists or the committed, in the case of ALBION, this remake adduces an already evolving band in a form that can be appreciated as much as their more polished later works.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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