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Wishbone Ash - New England CD (album) cover

NEW ENGLAND

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

3.13 | 119 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Accomplished

For their seventh studio album, Wishbone Ash travelled to Connecticut, USA (New England!) where all the basic tracks for the album were recorded. Once again, new producers were brought in, this time in the form of Ron and Howard Albert. The band put the "Locked in" album, with is lacklustre songs and misguided use of the talk box firmly behind them, and came up with a decent and sadly under appreciated offering.

We open with "Mother of pearl", the loudest track on the album. The song is an upbeat slice of power rock with fine harmonies delivering a strong melody and hook. The twin guitars drive the track along; it may not be prog but it is nevertheless great fun. This however is not representative of the album as a whole. "New England" is surprisingly reflective and melodic. The ballad "(In all of my dreams) You rescue me" gives a far better indication of what to expect here, especially on the second side of the LP. By track three, "Runaway", we have reached the final out and out rock track on the album, and also the lowest point. The song is not bad, just bland and unexciting. "Lorelei", which became a popular live track, is a mid-paced piece which builds to a fine guitar ending. Frustratingly, that ending is just getting exciting when it prematurely fades.

Side two flows rather nicely from start to finish. Starting with the routine but enjoyable instrumental "Outward bound", we are taken through a brief "Argus" like "Prelude" to an effective rock ballad "When you know love". The song features Ash's trademark guitar sound and vocal harmonies delivering an attractive melody. The relaxed, downbeat atmosphere of the side continues with "Lonely Island", where some of the finest guitar work on the album can be found. The track really is something of a lost gem in the Wishbone Ash catalogue. We close with a further short soft guitar piece "Candlelight".

All in all, "New England" is one of Wishbone Ash's most accomplished works. Admittedly, it is no "Argus", the album by which all others in their catalogue are inevitably compared, but by any other standard it has much to recommend it. In terms of prog, side two might loosely be considered a suite, and as such it hangs together well.

The album can usually now be found as a double CD pack with the following "Front page news".

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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