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Hoelderlin - Rare Birds CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.64 | 49 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Fourth album from Hoelderlin with the last pair of brothers being broken, Christian Grumbkow providing the lyrics and artworks, and managing the band, his spot taken by Spanish Pablo Weeber. Released end 77, this album is the last one susceptible to interest progheads (outside the double-live album coming the following year) as they will experienced much line-up and musical direction changes after this album.

The least we can say is that not much remains from the debut or the eponymous albums, and Conny plank is not involved anymore with the group. Not that the album is bad, far from it, but the magic is gone and when hints of it are present, they are still the highlights, but do not shine the same way. By now Joachim Grumbkow is not main songwriter anymore (fairly democratic sharing of credits, actually with newer members actively contributing). The opening Intergalaktik holds some glimpse of foregone greatness, but the following Sky Lift (Br-penned but not quite reaching heights of C&C) is lacklustre, while Rough And Thorny (penned by newcoming Weeber) is still worthy of the previous album and works well because of Noppeney's violin.

The second side of the vinyl is opened by the title track, which just another average Hoelderlin track but followed by the brilliant instrumental track Necronomicon (penned by Weber), which is a real scorcher and the album's highlight. The magnificent ambiances (reminiscent of the eponymous second) of the slightly fusion-esque aerial theme are quite enthralling, while the closing Sun Rays is yet another typical track of theirs, which means nothing exceptional by the time of this album's release even if the closing three minutes are worth the detour.

Clearly with every new album Hoelderlin was losing original members, inspiration and most likely a bit of faith as well. Although still a worthy prog album, much worth the occasional spin, this was to be their final prog offering, with its share of moments (but also weaknesses), but the-times-they-are-changin-again!!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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