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Strawbs - Bursting At The Seams CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.57 | 172 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Bursting out!

Bursting At The Seams marked another stage in the evolution of this great band. Having started out as a predominately acoustic Folk group, Strawbs gradually incorporated more and more Rock elements into their increasingly unique sound. Bursting At The Seams was not the first album to feature electric guitar and drums, but it can still be said to be Strawbs' first true Rock album.

Already with From The Witchwood Strawbs had developed their very own musical identity, and with Grave New World and the present album they took further steps towards something new and different. While it was their next album, Hero And Heroine, that would finally complete the amazing transformation from Folk to Prog, a symphonic suite like The River/Down By The Sea from the present album clearly showed the way. It is maybe a little bit too bombastic for its own good towards the end, but still a very good song reminding me of the very best stuff by Barclay James Harvest. Tears And Pavan may be one of the band's most interesting compositions, successfully fusing traditional dance music with symphonic Rock.

Admittedly, both Grave New World and Bursting At The Seams qualify as transitional albums in my book. This one is a bit uneven. There are some great songs here, but sadly also some not so good ones. The infamous Part Of The Union is one of the band's worst and most commercial songs ever. Lay Down is better, but similarly catchy. This would scare away some of the band's early fans and probably attract some new ones. You cannot please everyone, I guess. But the Prog fan should be delighted by what was happening to Strawbs here and finally came to full bloom on the next album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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