on 28 September 2008
I can't quite make my mind up on this one, the actual songs are worthy of five stars, but in my opinion the three short instrumental pieces tend to break the albums rhythm and may have worked better if consolidated into one longer amalgamation. As it stands I've awarded 4 stars but its really 4 1/2.
I've noticed other reviewers have given this that awful 'progressive rock' tag, but don't expect overly intricate numbers with all manner of wierd and wonderful time signatures from the beggars, what you will get is a mix of straight and mild art rock, with some scottish folky type influences here and there, these proggies will grab at anything to enlarge their genre, I've even known themm to include Steamhammer.
Time machine and Silver peacock are slow to mid tempo with Virginia Scott's mellotron supplementing Alan Park's organ, while Festival is the only track to feature original bassist Marshall Erskine, who also adds a bit of flute. I've no idea sounds a tad poppy for the beggars but it showcases Martin Griffith's vocals very well and is ok. The fox rocks along quite nicely as you would expect during the chase.
Quite different from the debut album that explored the possibilities of fusing rock with classical compositions, but in it's own way just as enjoyable.
on 21 November 2012
This is a far more mellow album than the organ/guitar frenzy of Act One. It is a very good album but sounds a little sedate to me. I am not a fan of the song Silver Peacock, but love how the mellotron has been introduced into the sound on this album, its not as prominate as what bands such as Barclay James Harvest used but it does work.
There is a lot more thought put into the lyrics and the vocals are much more prominate as well here.
Overall this is a nice album to put on for a dreamy landscape with a few wines and maybe someone special.
Apparently produced by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, who are best known for writing pop hits for the likes of The Bay City Rollers ('Congratulations' is also one of their songs), 'Waters Of Change' is the work of a band of remarkable talent. The material is not exceptional, but the band's flamboyant and atmospheric interpretation lifts it out of the ordinary. Though Ricky Gardiner is clearly a fine guitarist, his role tends to be secondary to Alan Park's keyboards. Park features organ for the greater part of the album. Underlined by Virginia Scott's mellotron, this results in swathes of gothic atmosphere that compete with an impressive lead vocalist. The band's Scottish roots surface occasionally, as on the brief 'Lament', keyboards representing the role of a lone piper. 'Festival' and 'The Fox' also betray a Celtic influence. 'Waters Of Change' is a safe buy for anyone who likes prog, though the next Beggars Opera album, 'Pathfinder', is a better place to start.
on 19 June 2008
When I first got this i thought it was very much of its time but like another reviewer has stated i thought it was saved by the enthusiasm of the musicians involved. However i have come to enjoy this cd immensely and although the bands music does not have the timeless quality of some of their peers it is nevertheless an exellent example of early 70's progressive rock. The tracks are definitely growers and repeated listens are rewarded, lots of good playing and very good vocals and a very good remastering job too. If like me you have an interest in this period of non mainstream music you may find it well worthwhile.
on 12 March 2005
Being a sucker for any album drenched in the wonderful sound of a mellotron Beggars Opera's second album is one of the best. Completely different from the debut 'act one' they dispensed with the Nice obsessions and revamping of classical romps and concentrated on their own songwriting abilities and what a wonderful change of direction! 'Festival' is the only track i believe leftover from the original band to appear here and its a wonderful uplifting flute laden track. 'The Fox' apart from its great sentiments is a song of two halves the first fairly proggy developing into a great heavy dirge at the end with mellotron over the pedestrian riffing. Martin Griffiths singing is on the whole great, but a little too impassioned and cringe worthy on 'i've no idea' and 'nimbus' sounds as if it would be ideal for a film soundtrack 'silver peacock' is the real mellotron workout and the best track here. Somehow after this they lost their way. The follow up 'pathfinder' was over produced and fairly patchy and the less said about 'get your dog off me' the better. This is the pinnacle of their work.