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Strawbs - The Broken Hearted Bride CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.53 | 54 ratings

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3 stars This is the electric version of the modern Strawbs, and the lineup that produced some of weakest material of the band's discography in the mid-seventies albums 'Nomadness', 'Deep Cuts' and 'Burning for You'. This time around the group clicks quite well and while most of the tracks are neither progressive nor folk, the overall experience of listening to the album is a pretty good one.

Dave Cousins and Chas Cronk are reunited as a solid songwriting duo for three of the four brand new songs ("Through Aphrodite's Eyes", "Too Many Angels" and "Christmas Cheer") and between them account for all but the two Lambert-penned songs ("Shadowland" and "You Know as Well as I"), both of which are more bluesy, rock-oriented and less bombastic than most of the rest of the material except possibly Cousins' closer "We'll Meet Again Sometime".

These are longer songs than most of what the band had recorded over the prior three decades, with only one coming in under four and a half minutes and three clocking in at over six minutes each. Long does not equate to good of course, but does indicate the band took a bit more time in the studio to get things right than did the lineup on the 'Baroque & Roll' Acoustic Strawbs CD.

"Through Aphrodite's Eyes" with its multilayered keyboards and hard guitar riffs; the laconic "Too Many Angels" and its complex blend of acoustic guitar and keyboards; and the fiddle- accented and vaguely Eastern-sounding rhythm of "Action Replay" represent the closest the band would come to something akin to progressive music, but all the tunes are quite well- presented and worth at least a listen. Others like "Deep in the Darkest Night" and We'll Meet Again Sometime" skirt the edges of being magnificent but don't push hard enough into any sort of new musical territory to avoid being anything more than just more good (but not great) material heaped upon the huge Strawbs repertoire.

This is a better album than what most Strawbs fans, or fans of a forty year old band in general, should probably expect. Cousins and friends are clearly comfortable playing together and have honed their talents through decades of touring and recording to the point where I'm not sure they could make a terrible album if they tried. But they also didn't really push themselves much on this one either, so another three star effort it is and recommended simply because any band still around and viable after forty years deserves to be heard.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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