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Druid - Fluid Druid CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.07 | 90 ratings

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3 stars This was the album where Druid ditched their 'name' producer and tried to do their own thing in an attempt to get away from some of the hype of their debut. Musically, they were partially successful - this album is far less of a Yes copy than before, but sadly their timing was all wrong. Even as the album was appearing in record stores, the storm clouds of Punk were gathering to wash away the weak and infirm. Druid would not survive.

Fluid Druid is a good album, but in some ways a tantalising one because amongst some bland pop (Razor Truth), late Moody Blues style soft rock (Painter's Clouds after an encouraging start) and Yes cloning (Kestrel), are some glimpses of originality and excellent musicality. The core songs are not too strong, and sometimes the band seem to be trying just a bit too hard, but arrangements are generally good to excellent with gutsy lead guitar work and magnificent pipe organ courtesy of the Royal Albert Hall. Dane's vocals sound more like Michael Jackson than Jon Anderson this time around, but he is still singing mostly in a very high register and with poor diction. He is an acquired taste but you get used it in time.

Highlights include the far too short FM145, a punchy instrumental which shows what they might have been capable of achieving. Crusade has some silly affected vocal mannerisms which mars an otherwise excellent song featuring both children's and adult choirs and the pipe organ before lapsing into some Yes-isms. Nothing But Morning is a majestic song built around choir and organ which contrasts with a cod-reggae beat reminiscent of 10CC on Barnaby. Left To Find chills out in a relaxing mellow mood, led by flute and choir but with cutting guitar somewhere near Camel territory.

Fluid Druid is not consistent enough to be considered 'excellent', though some of the individual pieces are, but it is well worth investigating if you love mid-70s melodic Symphonic Prog. Of course, the accusation of being derivative still cannot be avoided entirely, but Druid have made progress towards their own voice. It's anybody's guess how much further they might have gone.

Joolz | 3/5 |


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