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Amazing Blondel - Evensong CD (album) cover


Amazing Blondel


Prog Folk

3.03 | 32 ratings

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4 stars "Amazing Blondel and A Few Faces", the debut album by Amazing Blondel, possessed a few delightfully rough edges, but those are effectively smoothed out as John David Gladwin takes charge of the group from a songwriting and vocal perspective. What is lost in spontaneity is gained in continuity, and such would be the case for three glorious albums of small p progressive minstrelsy. The progressive comes from the fact that hardly anyone was even thinking about doing what AB was actively attempting. The incorporation of ancient instrumentation and spry ancient melodies was psychedelic in and of itself, and only the group's live performances betray the tongue in cheek aspect - it all sounds pretty serious otherwise.

For the prog pedigree I point to the acoustically intricate "Queen of Scots", the fits and starts of "St Crispin's Day", and the airily eerie "Willowood", but I would recommend focusing on the sheer songwriting prowess and the penchant for making the new seem old. "Pavan" sets the tone from the start, and the rousing choruses of "Old Moot Hall", the harpsichord backing of "Under the Greenwood Tree", and the stately closing hymn "Anthem" all boast of authentic accomplishment.

It is true that the music of AB does not have much edge, but this is compensated for by the skill and judgement of the participants. It seems amazing that Island records gave a voice to this group, even knowing what we know about the musical diversity of that time, but many fans the world over are glad they did nearly 40 years on.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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