Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Incredible String Band - Earthspan [1972], album review

Better Late Than Never Ever

Dissonant and distinctive, also swelled with sweet harmony, this moves across folk always, as we know, and jazz and opera, as we know. This is the first time I have heard the album and I am completely taken by its playfulness, experimentation [not in any way more than usual] and the rich range of instrumentation, for example on The Anchor as I listen to it now. Beautiful soothing flutes, for example. Just for a moment, within the broader movements of a typical ISB song, it seems. The opening My Father Was a Lighthouse Keeper is beautiful, soaring idiosyncratic vocals completely uncaring of convention. Banks of Sweet Italy hits the highest notes, in so many ways one suspects. I have enjoyed reading reviews of this today, from adoring to attacking: what more can such a distinctive band/sound desire? To be of the time – again – and paraphrase, I am digging what I hear.

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