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Horslips - The Man Who Built America CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.14 | 19 ratings

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3 stars Leaving Horslips in charge of traditional Irish folk was a bit like allowing Hells' Angels to babysit your precious 2 year old. Sure, your baby would survive safely, but you may not recognize her anymore when it's all over. They proved this time and again in the 70s, such that when they turned to hard rock with nary a vestige of the reel on "The Man Who Built America", we were somewhat prepared. This even got considerable airplay in the capital of Canada in its day, and was generally touted for what it was, the modernization of the Horslips sound, certainly with a view to the charts but with enough strong material to satisfy the rock if not the stodgy folk audience.

The album roars to life with the uber-catchy "Loneliness", later matched by the title track. Both are nearly unrelenting melodic hard rock tracks with a few celtic touches, featuring a superb mix on the vocals and a constant attack on rhythm guitars, not to mention masterful endings. The power ballad "I'll be waiting", the sinewy "Green Star Liner", and the Tullish "If it Takes all Night" are other highlights that snuff out some of the heavy handedness of the other cuts.

"The Man Who Built America" sadly turned out to be one of Horslips' last albums, and their last original work of interest. A shame, since at the time it seemed to lay the groundwork for a new sound to build upon.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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