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Stackridge - Friendliness CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.72 | 42 ratings

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3 stars Way, way too British for my tastes. Stackridge remind me of other über-British things like Beggars Opera or Absolutely Fabulous or fish n’ chips or warm beer. Great stuff I’m sure, but I for one just can’t get into any of them. On top of that the Beatles parroting is too prevalent and too heavy for me to take these guys seriously as a creative force in their own right.

The one adjective that keeps popping in my head to describe this music is ‘jaunty’. I could use that in a sentence referring to just about any track on the record, and the result would be an accurate depiction. Even the mellower tracks like “There is no Refugee” have a jaunty feel (see what I mean?), in that one’s case thanks to the piano track. The song reminds me a bit of early seventies ELO as well by the way, who were also a Beatles tribute band in some respects (although very good in their own right when they wanted to be).

The songs are entertaining enough at times, like on the protracted “Syracuse the Elephant” where Sir Syracuse is apparently a manic-depressive elephant in the zoo; or Amazing Agnes, a sonnet from an ass to a cow. Fun stuff no doubt, but the dry wit of British humorists can be difficult to get into if that isn’t part of your culture. The lengthy string/keyboard instrumental passage on “Syracuse the Elephant” is quite pleasant though.

And speaking of keyboards, I loved the piano instrumental on “Keep on Clucking” for its understated charm and quiet elegance. But that was probably the highlight of the record for me, while the rest seemed almost juvenile at times in its humor and delivery. And tracks like “Story of my Heart” and “Teatime” are not only Beatlesque, they are also so dated-sounding that they seem to have come from 1967 rather than 1972.

So in a nutshell I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this album, it’s just not my cup of tea (culturally speaking). These things happen. Three stars anyway because the compositions are structurally good, even if the entire package doesn’t do anything for me personally.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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