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The Pentangle

Prog Folk

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The Pentangle Reflection album cover
3.43 | 48 ratings | 6 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wedding Dress (4:48)
2. Omie Wise (4:23)
3. Will the Circle Be Unbroken (4:06)
4. When I Get Home (4:55)
5. Rain and Snow (3:49)
6. Helping Hand (3:27)
7. So Clear (4:49)
8. Reflection (11:14)

Total Time 41:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Jacqui McShee / vocals
- Bert Jansch / acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals
- John Renbourn / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Danny Thompson / double bass
- Terry Cox / percussion, drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Shepard Sherbell

LP Transatlantic Records ‎- TRA 240 (1971, UK)
LP Reprise - RS 6463 (1971, US)

CD Line - 900618 (1988, Germany)
CD Castle Music ‎- CMRCD 983 (2004, UK)
CD BMG ‎- BVCM-47020 (2004, Japan) Remastered by Tibor Kovaks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THE PENTANGLE Reflection Music

THE PENTANGLE Reflection ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE PENTANGLE Reflection reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars If the previous album Cruel Sister was a minor disappointment, this album is back on track with the very high Pentangle standard, rivalling in quality with Basket Light. If BOL has some brighter spots than this album, this album is really more even with not one single song under the excellent mark. Another good point for this album is that they are using an ever-increasing amount of instrument including regular uses of sitar and banjo.

Wedding Dress picks up where the Carpenter cover had left off but adds to it a bowed bass. Omie Wise is an incredible bed of guitars arpeggios and great Renbourn vocals. Another exciting cover is Circle Unbroken, but the highlight of the album is When I Get Home. Rain And Snow is again another banjo-lead track but it is mixed with a great sitar, Helping Hand is a much-needed rest after such a barrage of incredibly high standard track succession. So Clear is the second track to calm things down and quite superb, but I believe it was a mistake to place it back to back with Helping Hand. The title track is finishing off the album in a very moody manner only fitting with the title of the album.

Reflection is clearly the other highlight of Pentangle's studio record career, and truly the album will prove almost impossible act to follow. They will try with Solomon's Seal but this will be the last of their classic albums

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Reflection is a rather sophisticated folk album with slight prog related tendencies: the songs are not really progressive though. Country and blues elements are slightly present. The loaded songs are rather delicate and mellow, and the EXCELLENT acoustic bass jazzy rhythms, which is a strong point on this record, give a warm dimension to the overall music: I find the bass less present than on the Sweet Child album. Jacqui MacShee's voice is excellent, as always, and it also constitutes a strong point on this record. The similarities with Fairport Convention, Trader Horne, Trees and Fotheringay are obvious, except that the psychedelic dimension is not really present, and the rock/hard rock dimension is about inexistant. The tracks are not extremely spectacular, and they all sound a bit the same. Globally, the album is good, but definitely do not retain the attention, since there is a feeling of deja vu involved. Some rare banjo, harmonica and sitar arrangements embellish the tracks, but I don't think it is sufficient to rate it 4 stars.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After the relatively disappointing Cruel Sister Pentangle came back with Reflection. It was clear that the tensions between band members were beginnning to show. The incredible tighness they showed on Basket Of Light were never to be achieved again. Still, Reflection shows the group could deliever some superb perfomances, even if they are not as exciting as their first three releases.

Contraty to the tradittional folk oriented Cruel Sister, Reflection is much more jazz and blues influenced. The folk elements are present of course, and I really liked Bert Jansch rendition of Omie Wise, but the arrangements are much bolder, intricated and jazzy than anything on CS. And this is a good thing. The tracklist is nice, ok, but not as varied and inspired as their earlier works. But I think the title track to be their most interesting and different song ever: very jazzy, very strong and a great way to end an album. I only wish they had more original stuff of the same caliber around that time.

Conclusion: very good CD, althought not as strong as what they had done in their recent past. If you already have Sweet Child and Basket Of Light, this is a good companion for those albums. 3,5 stars.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Will the Pentangle be unbroken?

By 1971, the strain of working together and of working in the music business in general, was starting to take its toll on members of Pentangle. The atmosphere between the band and their record label was souring rapidly and alcohol was playing an ever increasing part in the creative process. On the plus side, this album was recorded on state of the art 16 track equipment, improving the sound quality of the finished product enormously. After the entirely traditional "Cruel sister", here the band revert to a mixture of band compositions and traditional material, the 11 minute feature (title) track being one of those written by the band.

The opening "Wedding dress" has a real bluegrass feel, Jackie McShee sounding a little like Emmylou Harris (the song is similar to Harris' "Deeper well"). "Omie Wise" returns us to the Atlantic's eastern shores, John Renbourn delivering this traditional folk song without great embellishment. "Will the circle be unbroken" is undoubtedly the best known of the traditional numbers here. The song was first made famous by the Carter Family, but has since been covered by almost as many artists as "Yesterday"! McShee's pure voice is perfect for this pleasantly mournful piece which inevitably invites audience participation on the infectious chorus.

"When I get home" is the first of the band compositions. The song has the feel of one of Fairport Convention's early Bob Dylan covers, but to these ears sounds decidedly ordinary among its peers. On the other hand, "Rain and snow" is a personal favourite, this light traditional air offering McShee an opportunity to do her best Joni Mitchell impersonation.

The second side (of the original LP) is altogether more reflective. "Helping hand" is a drifting, downbeat affair with a west coat feel. "So clear" continues in a similar vein, perhaps with hints of Simon and Garfunkel. The lengthy title track takes us towards prog folk territories, the sparse violin and acoustic guitar conversation which opens the track eventually giving way to a fine multi-tracked vocal performance by McShee. The track however gradually settles down into a more orthodox soft folk number.

In all, an enjoyable if rather understated album from this fine band. Those who enjoyed their previous works are sure to find this to their liking too.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The rock elements return somewhat on this album, after receding a bit in Cruel Sister, resulting in what might be my favourite Pentangle album. Including a wonderfully gentle and moving rendition of the old country standard Will The Circle Be Unbroken does not indicate a move to country territory - in fact, it's one of several songs which take advantage of the lush, rich sound the band achieves in their first recording in a 16-track studio. It's a shame it took them this long to come to grips with the latest recording technology, because I do wonder what it would have allowed them to achieve on albums such as Basket of Light if they had access to it. Perhaps they'd have done the material on that album more justice.

Latest members reviews

3 stars After the somewhat stiff and stodgy trad. British folk song outing of the band's last album Cruel Sister, the Pentangle loosened up with this follow up album that's chock full of upbeat American folk tunes in songs like "Wedding Dress", "Omie Wise", "Rain And Snow" and "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" ... (read more)

Report this review (#2537552) | Posted by SteveG | Saturday, April 24, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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