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Ken Baird - Fields CD (album) cover


Ken Baird


Crossover Prog

3.54 | 11 ratings

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2 stars I've been listening to Ken Baird for a while, because he is clearly a fan of some of Mike Oldfield's more mystical mid period work, and Sally Oldfield's pagan leanings, with vocals that are in many ways better than either of his two role models can muster. The keyboards and guitars range from the electronic to the acoustic, the melodies tend to the hypnotic, and the lyrics, while somewhat cryptic, are not silly, pompous or bland. On songs like "Little Air to Breathe", "Firefly" and "No Easy Path", he manages to combine all of these aspects in a manner that is generally tasteful, restrained and appealing. Yet overall, I just can't get too excited about this album or Baird in general.

I like soothing, meditative styles as much as the next new age guy, but also yearn for a rock groove occasionally, or at least some sort of edge in my music, a sense that the fellow might be a bit angry or passionate about something. After a while, I can't just assume that the emotion is between the lines of the lyrics or otherwise implicit in the subject matter. I am not saying I doubt Ken's sincerity or his intensity, but sometimes I just want to feel the passion. When I listen to "into Night", the longest and presumably most important track, I get some of that feeling, but the melodies are trite and the strings treacly, which spoils the effect for me.

I'm not saying this is a bad album, just that its appeal on this list might be limited to those who are partial to the very mellow side of prog. I always thought that group would include yours truly, but apparently the field is so wide that even I do not quite stand at its fringes.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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