Actually I had expected, when playing the CD at the start, a beautiful sound in the nature of Annie Haslam and the first notes of the album confirmed this expectation, too. Truly!
Indeed Tim Bowness co-produced this album and, as a musician, there are also to be heard next to Robert Fripp, his old (McDonald) and new (Mastelotto) collaborators. With “C’est la vie” there is really a Lake/Sinfield composition, which sounds better in my ears, than the ELP-original (to be heard on “Works Vol 1”). When one still recalls, that Ms. Dyble was indeed the singer of the Crimson-ish precursor (lit. primordial cell), then one can also come to the idea that alongside progressive folk yet other influences can be heard.
Nevertheless, I was drawn from my chair again and again with each listening to the long track “Harpsong” and I am certain: This is how “In The Court of The Crimson King” would have in fact sounded without Greg Lake. Or would the actual King Crimson sound so? In any event the instrumental middle part of “Harpsong” would not have have seriously come to mind on any Crimson album since “Thrak.” How does one explain this song to a progressive stereotypical thinker? Fickel-Folk? Fairport-Prog[ressive]? Neo-Spirogyra or Post-Renaissance? Only listening possibly helps.
But also the rest of the CD is completely worth hearing. There is, for example, a duet between Dyble and Bowness (“Grey October Day”), which could additionally ennoble every “No-Man” release, a rather typical “Fairport Convention” song (“Never Knowing”) with Simon Nicol on guitar and with “Jazzbirds” a piece , which places Ian McDonald’s flute playing in the foreground and so reminds one likewise of early Crimson classics like “I Talk To The Wind,” to whose original version Dyble recognizably lent her voice.
An all round successful album with a potential long track classic, which only leaves open the question: What should track 8, named “Harpsong Instrumental,” be?
Play Tips: Harpsong, Grey October Day
Released on: 25 March 2011
Latest Revision: 26 March 2011
Comparable To: Fairport Convention, King Crimson
Rating: 12/15 (Full rating of “Harpsong”)
Reviewed by Dirk Reuter 2011