Saturday, November 18, 2006

Agincourt-Fly away (1970-Acid Folk-Rock)

Though Agincourt's album is sometimes described as folk-rock, it's really more accurately pegged as a combination of folk-rock (of the contemporary rather than traditional British variety), a bit of psychedelia, and a bit of swooning pop. Certainly it's got more drive and catchy pop melodies than most of the plentiful oodles of obscure barely pressed British folk-rock releases of the early '70s, though there are similarities in the gentleness of the approach and the wistful, slightly sad melodies. As these kind of U.K. folk-rockish rarities go, it's certainly one of the better ones — not on the level of the most famous British folk-rockers, mind you, but among the upper tier of things you should check out if you're accumulating unknown albums in that realm. Lee Menelaus has a sweet, high voice that's lighter and more innocent-sounding (to good effect) than many woman singers of the style, and the original tunes have a way of shining with pleasing sunniness while steering clear of the saccharine. Not everything here is that good — some of the occasional harder-rocking tunes are more ordinary than the fetching folkier ones ("Mirabella" sounds almost like a garage Moody Blues), and the fairly homespun recording quality (particularly on the drums), while not a serious distraction, keeps some of this from coming across as well as it could have, by Richie Unterberger

Check it out!



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