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The Pentangle

Prog Folk

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The Pentangle So Early In The Spring album cover
2.71 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Eminsta (3:57)
2. So Early In the Spring (5:40)
3. The Blacksmith (3:25)
4. Reynardine (4:21)
5. Lucky Black Cat (3:20)
6. Bramble Brimar (5:54)
7. Lassie Gathering Nuts (5:02)
8. Gaea (4:46)
9. The Baron Of Brackley (7:53)

Total Time: 44:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Jacqui McShee / vocals
- Bert Jansch / vocals, guitar
- Rod Clements / electric guitar, mandolin
- Nigel Portman Smith / bass, keyboards, co-producer
- Gerry Conway / drums, percussion

- Tony Roberts / flute, whistle

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Bucker

LP plšne ‎- 88648 (1989, Germany)
LP Green Linnet ‎- SIF 3048 (1990, UK)

CD Green Linnet ‎- GLCD 3048 (1990, US)
CD Park Records ‎- PRKCD35 (1996, UK) Different cover art

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THE PENTANGLE So Early In The Spring ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (40%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE PENTANGLE So Early In The Spring reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars : After "In The Round" the band lost guitarrist Mike Piggott and enlisted Rod Clements (who wouldn't stay too long either) who had previously worked on one Bert Jansch solo album. The music here is much more homogeneous than on the previous release, but has less highlights, in my opinion. There are only three original tracks on So Early In The Spring: the instrumental opening track in a very Jethro Tull like fashion (helped by special guest Tony Roberts on flute), the bluesy Lucky Black Cat (sung entirely by Jansch) and the jazzy Gaea (McShee's vocals here sounding a lot like Renaissance's Annie Haslam). The rest are traditional songs arranged by the band. All are very good, even if Bramble Briar is really Bruton Town (recorded in their debut LP in 1968) with another title.

Unlike In the round, no track here sounds like a Bert Jansch solo piece put amid band songs. they all flow together rather flawlessly. A very pleasant CD but again I should point this is a complete new sound. It's not the same Pentangle of their so called "classic" first incarnation between 1968-72. The sound here is more accessible, more european, less jazzy, less acoustic driven (although Jansch guitar still soars through most of the album). And they definitly have no more those acoustic american blues tunes. Still, The Pentangle delivered a fine, sophisticated, collection of songs that will please any prog folk fan.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars In the afterglow of hearing the freshly revitalized group on "In the Round", I at first considered this follow up to be its equal, modern jazz tinged folk with heaping helpings of "cool". But the songs lack both the immediate and lasting appeal of those on the predecessor. The melodies are weaker, the tempos too constant from song start to finish, the vocals dispirited, and the choice of material uninspired.

"Reynardine" and the overlong "Baron of Brackley" both highlight the disc's weaknesses, but even the title cut, notwithstanding excellent bass work, and "Lassie Gathering Nuts", while strong vocal performances by MacShee, never emerge from their stupor. This is a style CLANNAD worked better even during their own declining period. "Eminstra" and "Lucky Black Cat" are probably the best of the lot, the first a jangly instrumental and the second a better than average stab at acoustic blues.

Overall, this one seems to have escaped too early in the spring, before its participants had emerged from their winter slumber. Perhaps Pentangle's weakest album.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Not a day too early

I might be quite alone in my opinion, but I definitely prefer the more recent incarnation(s) of Pentangle (since their return to the music business in 1984) over the early 60's and 70's incarnation(s). The early Pentangle was almost exclusively acoustic, and they mixed Folk music with Jazz and Blues. What they did in the 80's and 90's is generally electrified and a much rockier affair with a broader instrumental palette. Gone are most of the overt Jazz influences and instead they opt for a Folk Rock style closer to that of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span than to Pentangle's own early style. Fans of Fairport Convention will probably recognize Reynardine (a traditional number also recorded by Fairport Convention). But Pentangle's style is really closer to that of Steeleye Span in that they alternate between male and female lead vocals.

Those looking for a genuine Prog Folk album should perhaps look elsewhere, but those who enjoy Folk Rock in general, and likes bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, will be well advised to check out Pentangle's 80's and 90's output.

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