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Dan Ar Braz - Songs CD (album) cover


Dan Ar Braz


Prog Folk

3.09 | 3 ratings

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3 stars Notwithstanding that Dan is joined by two British/Celtic influenced stalwarts, Dave Pegg and Martin Allcock, and that Fairport's "Rising for the Moon" is covered, this aptly named CD shows minimal stylistic influence from the aforementioned. Instead we have almost a sequel to "Acoustic" which appeared a decade earlier, but with the pendulum pointing more towards the vocals. Speaking of which, Ar Braz' vocals here take on a charmingly weathered air not unlike that adopted by New England folk singer Ellis Paul sometime later. In fact, the overall feel is very much that of a contemporary singer/songwriter/guitarist. The juxtaposition of the voice and guitar prowess with the echoey and cavernous production and generally reflective and subtle melodies augments the effect of "Songs" on a good listener.

The first 2/3 of the album is so seamless and consistently trippy that it is hard to pick a highlight, but the two part tracks that couple a strong song with a shining instrumental outro are particularly notable, especially on "We'll Bring Back to Life/The Dance of Believers", thanks to some tuneful electric licks. The sensitively lovely "A Heart Needs a Home" could easily be a Dougie MacLean song, right down to the vocal style, even if it was written by Richard Thompson. Combined with the self penned "She's Gone", we see that another strength among many is the man's instinctive grasp of the proper mix of well selected and played covers with originals that are of similar ilk.

Even though the last few songs, beginning with Paul Brady's clumsy "The Island", lack the assured quality of the first half dozen or so, this is a worthy purchase for those who lean heavily towards the folk end of the prog continuum.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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