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Family - Music In A Doll's House CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.97 | 166 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Family with this album have influenced the Genesis, the singing of Peter Gabriel, the Jethro Tull, the Yes, the Gentle Giant and who knows how many other progressive bands. It was 1968: the Beatles published the "White Album", the Rolling Stones "Beggar's Banquet", the Procol Harum "Shine on Brightly", the Kinks "Village Green Preservation Society"; the Pink Floyd "Saucerful of Secrets".

The Family published a collage album where there was rock, folk, blues, space rock like Pink Floyd's sound, symphonic music, and gypsy and Indian sounds: in fact, with this album the Family invented the various genres of the progressive rock. The Beatles of Sgt Pepper and the Floyds of The Piper were completely overcome in the progressive sense: nothing is trivial here, nothing is pop, as well as arranged, as in those two albums of 1967.

The first song (The Chase, vote 7,5) is a manifesto of progressive rock, with choirs, pressing rhythm and instrumental ending. The second (Mellowing Grey, vote 7,5/8) is a classic piece that may have inspired the songs with the violins of the Gentle Giant, although this is devoid of the rhythmic basis of rock. The third (Never Like This, vote 7,5) is a folk rock with the harmonica; "Me My Friend" (vote 7,5/8) has a martial rhythm with a sound of saxophones and psychedelic voices.

Until now there have been songs of a little more than two minutes, and now the latter is infused with an instrumental fantasy of 23 seconds (Variation Mr. Policeman), followed by "Winter" (vote 7,5), two and a half minutes of an epic rock with a piano beginning and strings. Then starts, with a darker atmosphere, the only "long" song of the first side (Old Songs, New Songs, vote 8), which exceeds 4 minutes: a blues rock ending with a long jam of wind and guitar wah wah, which is dissolved in the instrumental finale of Breeze Variation. Vote side A: 9.

The second side contains songs on average longer, and begins with the funky syncopated rhythm of "Mr. Policeman" (vote 8), where the voice of Chapman can be appreciated in all its nuances. "See Through Windows" (vote 7,5) is a psychedelic space rock of almost 4 minutes which makes the sound harder.

After an oriental intermezzo (Variations Me My Friend), debtor of Sgt Pepper, two masterpieces follow, two pieces that are mini suites that will influence Genesis and Yes: the short "Peace of Mind" (vote 8+), with epic theme of violin and sensational ending, and the great masterpiece "Voyage" (vote 8,5), also guided by the violin, a cosmic rock which is an inextricable hybrid of musical genres and rhytms. At This point, the listener realize that music and voice are close to sublime. This is pure inspiration, pure invention.

The Family make in 3-4 minutes what in the following years the pivotal groups of the progressive will try to chase with 20-minute suites.

"Breeze" (vote 7,5) follows, a bucolic ballad, and then the grand finale, "3 x Time" (vote 7,5/8), rock ballad with roaring fantasy band, melodic piece and new band piece, ending with 15 seconds of parody of "God Save The Queen" (Gentle Giant will copy this idea in their first record). Vote Side B: 9,5

Epoch-making album, seminal for progressive rock, comparable for historical importance, and for quality, to "Valentyne's Suite" by Colosseum and "In the Court of ..." by King Crimson.

Vote Album: 9+. Five Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 5/5 |


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