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Procol Harum - Exotic Birds And Fruit CD (album) cover

EXOTIC BIRDS AND FRUIT

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

3.40 | 127 ratings

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Prog 74
3 stars Procol Harum is one of my favorite bands and their first three albums should be part of every serious prog-rock collection. However, by the 1970s their albums became a rather or hit miss affair. Most of them are good, some of them great such as 'Broken Barricades', 'Grand Hotel' and of course their live collaboration with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. This album falls into the "good" category. The first 5 songs are actually quite outstanding giving one high hopes for this being another great album. Among the highlights are "As Strong as Samson" and "The Idol". The former is one of their greatest songs. Very majestic with a beautiful melody. The piano playing is especially lovely. That lovely piano playing continues on into "The Idol". This is a real sweeping epic of a song. Procol Harum's classical influence is really on display here along with their ability to craft some brilliant pop hooks. Very few bands blended classical and rock as effortlessly as these guys did. Unfortunately after the wonderfully menacing "The Thin End of the Wedge" the quality of the songs drop significantly. "Monsieur R. Monde", "Fresh Fruit" & "Butterfly Boys" are all throwaways with "Fresh Fruit" especially having some cringe inducing lyrics. Thankfully all is not lost for the closing track, "New Lamps For Old", is one of the finest songs on the album. Not quite on par with "As Strong as Samson", but brilliant all the same. Intelligent lyrics with Gary Brooker singing quite soulfully. Gary Brooker is one of my all time favorite singers and this song really demonstrates just what a powerful singer he is. This is an all around fine album with a beautiful reproduction of a Jakob Bogdani painting on the cover. The album cover is so nice that it could even be framed and hung above the fireplace! Wife permitting of course. Released in 1974, this album is probably the last good album from Procol Harum and should be owned by all fans of that legendary band.
Prog 74 | 3/5 |

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