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Wishbone Ash - New England CD (album) cover

NEW ENGLAND

Wishbone Ash

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3 stars I bought this album, because I'm a great fan of Wishbone Ash's first six albums. First time I heard songs from this recording on Rockpalast and I liked them. After not so good Locked in album, this one is slightly better as the band tried to make their typical ballads like (In all of my dreams) you rescued me and When you know love. Some short interludes invoke their second album (Prelude, Candle light), but this one is more rock oriented. The best song is Outward bound, an instrumental song with great ideas. To sum up, this album is worth listen, but it is not the essential one, so three stars are good for it.
Report this review (#78992)
Posted Monday, May 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well I'm going to stand up for this album. I bought this in cassette form many many years ago and it has remained one of my favourite albums. (I can get about 2 minutes out the cassette now before it tightens up!) Songs are a brilliant mix of ballad (In All of my Dreams, Lorelei etc) and heavy rock (Mother of Pearl, Runaway) and it is easy to lose yourself in the lyrics.

Ah to be eighteen again, driving with the sunroof down on a warm day with Wishbone Ash washing over you.. bliss!

Jules

Report this review (#79983)
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
1 stars Named after the part of the US where they will resettle, like many other UK bands did (Foghat, Fleetwood, Savoy Brown etc.) and not only for tax reasons, but they were now being forgotten in their volatile-tasting homeland. Unfortunately this kind of move will certainly not push back WA towards their priggish debut, but rather force them down the RnR boogie that was so popular in the States: WA were quite popular during the later 70's, proving that financially speaking they were doing something right. Artistically speaking, however, they had lost me rather quickly after their double-live album, the seminal Live Dates. The tracks are short and concise and are of the typical AOR format, with little space for instrumental fantasies, and I never appreciated Laurie Wisefield's vocals either.

Anyway neither this album, the preceding ones and the following few will break new ground (or anything else for that matter except maybe our ears with that average stuff) and we have a well-made but completely uninventive album of countryish-boogie RnR with little going for itself except its professionalism. By this time of course they had become an AOR group, planning for radio airplay of one or two tracks, and filling a big part of the albums with fillers.

Report this review (#82997)
Posted Friday, July 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars By far the best Wishbone Ash Album. Yes it is more rock oriented and I was a real fan of heavy rock when this album was released. Still it has some smooth and soft songs. This is one of the albums that make me listen to progressive music because this is still the old Wishbone Ash with guitar driven music. The studio sound was very new for the time and it is very distinct. This is Wishbone Ash at their best. This is all to say about an album, which shaped my progressive taste of rock.
Report this review (#86475)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
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".

Report this review (#117406)
Posted Thursday, April 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Wedged in nicely between There's The Rub and Front Page News, New England is a great blend of both albums. Also Laurie Wisefield lending credibility to the WA brand of sound, which is evident all over New England. ' Mother Of Pearl' kicks the album off in typical rocking style and immediately the next song brings the predictable ballad like number back with ' You Rescued me'. Some excellent guitar work from Powell and Wisefield. The alternation of rock and ballads follow again over the next four tracks but the highlight for this album has to be the superb 'Lonely Island'. One thing Wishbone Ash will never do is bore you with too many great guitar solos! The album closes with the accoustically driven short piece ' Candlelight'. The album is a bit short but certainly not lacking in quality. A worthy three and a half stars.
Report this review (#180510)
Posted Thursday, August 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Wishbone Ash is a band that never really made it as a prog band for me. There are several albums in their discography that contain great progressive rock songs, but they always insisted on including at least a couple of straightforward boogie-rock'n'roll-type songs on almost every album. New England is not really different in that respect. Still, it is a good album with some well hidden progressive tendencies. But these tendencies are not as strong but more evenly spread over this album than they were on the great There's The Rub album, for example. You certainly won't find a F.U.B.B. or Persephone, or for that matter a The King Will Come, but what you will find is a consistent and well put-together album of some well-crafted melodic rock.

As always on Wishbone Ash albums, the guitar work is great throughout. If you like Argus and There's The Rub you will probably like this as well. However, it took me more listens to appreciate New England; I didn't see its good qualities right away. This is probably because it is a little bit subdued compared to some earlier (and later) Wishbone Ash albums. It is not in your face, you have to actively search for its beauty.

The last four tracks are not really an epic or anything even if the short instrumental tracks Prelude and Candlelight nicely bookend the last half of the album.

Good, but hardly essential. Not the best place to start with Wishbone Ash.

Report this review (#193940)
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's been quite a long time that I do not write any prog review. Well, yeah it's merely classic reason: work ..work and work! Oh not only that ..I was busy organizing "Tales from Yes: An Evening of Yes Music Plus" on April 23, 2009 which to my surprise was a sold-out event. I did not realize that Yes has created strong root in Indonesia. Too bad that they never played any concert in my country.

And now why Wishbone Ash? It's simple ..because I just replayed this "New England" album on my iPod while I did "Bike to Prog" this morning on my way to my office (it's a 22 KM journey). When I reached the office I just realized that I have never written anything about this album. So now I am writing my views about it. I knew this album very long long time ago during the glory days of rock music in the seventies. Of course, this album was not on my priority at that time because it was not too heavy metal as other classic rock bands: Deep Purple with its "Burn", Led Zeppelin with its "Physical Graffiti", Black Sabbath with its "Sabotage" and many more classic albums. Why it was not in my priority? It's because of less distortion on guitar part like other bands who offered heavy riffs and distorted guitar solo. But I knew this "New England" album.

One thing that really amazes me with this album is its sonic production quality which really sounds excellent. This is the main reason whenever I want to play this album in addition to the nice music with twin-guitar format. On this subject, this is the band I remembered first when I knew Iron Maiden for the first time with its double-guitar format as well.

The opening track "Mother Of Pearl" (4:31) show cast a truly vintage hard rock music with its nice-flowing rhythms section, good melody and excellent harmonies in terms of guitars as well as vocal. Again, the excellent sound quality triggers me to put the volume high whenever I play this tune. The twin guitar format in the interlude part is nice. The next track "(In All Of My Dreams) You Rescued Me" (6:13) is a slow piece in which the guitar sound reminds me to Deep Purple's "When A Blind Man Cries" even though it's totally different musically. "Runaway" (3:18) brings the energy back to the hard rock music with great guitar work. "Lorelei" (5:26) tunes the beat in slower tempo with some bluesy touch. The guitar fills are truly stunning. "Outward Bound" (4:51) starts nicely with guitar solo followed by a nice-flowing musical pieces that feature twin-guitar solo. It's a wonderfully crafted instrumental with tight basslines.

"Prelude" (1:13) is a nice bluesy instrumental with nice twin-guitar and opens a nice pathway to the next track "When You Know Love" (5:46) where guitar still plays important role in the music. The vocal line of this song is also very nice. As the title implies about loneliness, this follow-up "Lonely Island" (4:29) is a slow moving music with ambient vocal work combined with excellent guitar fills. "Candlelight" (1:50) concludes the album nicely in a peaceful way using great guitar fills ...It's a very very nice closing, indeed!

Overall, I think this is a very good hard rock album with barely no prog elements at all. The composition, harmonies (of twin-guitar as well as vocal) are both very good. I strongly recommend you to have this album, especially if you do not expect something complex. The twin guitar work by Andy Powell and Laurie Wisefield is really great. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#214280)
Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars My deep feeling about this band is that since day one they have produced some very good rock albums, seriously US oriented. Is this just a normal "retour" that they decided to cross the ocean and record this album (well named anyway) on the East cost? Probably.

This album sounds is truly too much US oriented to my liking. AOR has never been my cup of tea and I have to admit that I had quite a difficult moment while listening to this "New England" record.

Of course, there are still some great (but scarce and short) guitar breaks, but hey: this is still "Wishbone Ash" right? But these few moments can't overshadow the poor global result. I am not even talking about prog of course, but this was never a relation that was obvious to me while listening to this good band.

Of course, all tastes are in nature! I am not used to refer to my fellow prog reviewers, but I will this time. Two of the most knowledgeable and best reviewers of this site (Hughes and Bob IMHHO) have rated this album with 1 star (Hughes) and 4 stars (Bob). This is definitely highlighting that the way we receive music is quite personal.

The best song from this work is "Outward Bound" which features a fabulous guitar moment; like we are used to with WA. If only more of these magical parts were available! Instead, such a poor track as "When We Love" takes over. Even if it is partially saved by a good mid section of ? guitar sounds of course.

I have been quite generous with the band so far in their musical history; and I won't be too harsh either with this one. Just be warned that this is a truly AOR oriented album with some great guitar parts. That's it. At times ("Lonely Island"), the shadow of the great Carlos can even be felt.

Two stars overall. Sub-par rock music.

Report this review (#386456)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I like this album a lot. It came out in between the releases "Locked In" and "Front Page News" and it's better than both of those. Here the band blended a range of styles from the sizzling rock of "Mother of Pearl" to some fine soft ballads, like the dreamy "You Rescued Me" and the acoustic "Candlelight". Those familiar with the band Home who Laurie Wisefield left to join Wishbone Ash, will notice some of the similar breeezy influences here, though some songs are also reminiscent of the band's original sound, a fusion of folk and rock. I particularly love "Lorelei" which is a fine laid back song. The guitar work is great on this album and the production is of high quality too. Three and a half stars.
Report this review (#745556)
Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Coming from a bad album, they quickly release another one, obviously improved. Yet, worst than their first five.

My track-by-track opinion:

Mother Of Pearl: A mainstream rocker, not a very special song but a nice one.

(In All Of My Dreams) You Rescue Me: A very quiet love ballad, really irrelevant for the first 3 minutes, bit with a nice guitar solo part at the last 2 minutes and a prog-ish closing section with sounds from nocturnal insects, which fades to the next song.

Runaway: Yes! A straight-forward hard rock song with very good riffing, radio-friendly lyrics and tight built. A very good song.

Lorelie: Jazz-funk song with additional percussion and a nice groove. It gains volume at the last part, with stronger performances and a powerful solo by Andy Powell. Joyful!

Outward Bound: A very colorful instrumental track, full of different sounds and very tasty performances by all members of the group. Rich and inspired, my favorite track from this album!

Prelude: Slow intro which reminds me of the "Pilgrimage" melodies.

When You Know Love: Another mid-tempo song, with an essence of "Sometime World" from Argus. The guitar solo part is the best once more. Not an equally great song in any way, but a good one.

Lonely Island: Yet another ballad with nothing special. They have wrote many better than this one.

Candlelight: A nostalgic short instrumental which is credited to all four Wishbone Ash members and former member Ted Turner. Nice musical taste.

RATING: A mediocre album, but definitely an improvement from their previous. Totally 2,5 stars, but 2 stars is too low. I'll go with 3.

Report this review (#1619529)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2016 | Review Permalink

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