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Amazing Blondel - On with the Show (In Per Ostendo) CD (album) cover

ON WITH THE SHOW (IN PER OSTENDO)

Amazing Blondel

 

Prog Folk

2.00 | 1 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars After several dozen unreleased cuts flowed from the vaults in 2004 under the name "Going Where the Music Takes Me", one would have thought that the spelunking had come to an end as far as AMAZING BLONDEL's archives were concerned. But enter the Dreamcatcher label to complete (?) the picture, with 20 short samplings of the "new" and/or "live" variety. Again the period covered is broad, from the 60s to the 80s, and the styles from blues and rock and roll to Elizabethan.

The progressive component is even more dubious than in the original works of the group, and even though the band's uniqueness shines through in both the ancient ("In the Bleak Midwinter", "Love's a Nightingale", "Queen of Hearts") and modern styles ("Keep Away", title cut,, "As Close as This", "Rings and Things" which always reminds me of "Further Up Further In" by the Waterboys), and several live cuts improve or at least offer a refreshing take on the originals ("Weaver's Market", "Help us Get Along"), this just isn't close to the best the group can do. Several pieces were clearly never properly recorded and are distorted ("Blackbirds and Thrushes", "Love Sonnet") while others show the group branching into the netherlands of rock and blues("Josie", "I Need You","Night Life") or into philandering cliches ("I Can Hold You") to disastrous effect. In all, even the best of the lot seems stripped down compared to the group's ornate early style, which can be pleasing in an understated way ("Sleepy Laburnum", "Genevieve")

It might have helped my appreciation to have bought the bricks and mortar album rather than a legal MP3 download, just for the satisfaction of seeing the liner notes and placing the contents historically. "On with the Show" is a mixed bag in every sense, well worth it for the committed fan but way down the list when compared with all but the worst couple of the group's original studio albums. 2.5 stars, reluctantly rounded down by this Blondel enthusiast.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |

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