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Easier to admire than really love
on 29 September 2007
Released in 1969 , If Only For A Moment is the Blossom Toes second album .Their first "We Are Ever So Clean " was a flinty but enjoyable portion of British psychedelia but their second album see's the band take on more progressive and grungier tendencies .The four piece band had two rhythm and lead guitarists (Brian Goulding and Jim Cregan ) and three vocalists (the aforementioned two plus bassist Brian Belshaw, the drummer was Barry Reeves).This leads to some fascinating interplay and harmonising but also means the music tends to be over elaborate at times -"Indian Summer" even reminds me of Spinal Tap on occasions -but overall the album is a laudable mixture of bluesy acid rock with a west coast psychedelic timbre.
The music recalls Captain Beefheart , Wishbone Ash , Frank Zappa, and even early Led Zeppelin to these ears but tracks like "Just Above My Hobby Horses Head" evokes the Beatles with it's plangent sitar courtesy of US folkie Shawn Phillips. Poli Palmer adds flute ,percussion and that sixties staple vibes on several tracks. It's certainly complex music , with intricate interwoven guitar lines and like I said it can be a little too fussy at times but on tracks like "Peace Loving Man" , "Wait A Minute" and "Listen To The Silence " it all gels very nicely and the lyrics about the usual late sixties things- social unrest, anti war bluster, and why cant we all just live together nicely aren't too toe curling.
This edition is expanded with a informative booklet and extra tracks. The single "Postcard" pre-dated this album and is infinitely poppier -like that debut album and is a bit of a relief after all the convoluted material on the album proper." Everyone's Leaving me Now" -a B side -is a tremendous jazz inflected number but "Ever Since A Memory" and "Nobody But" are demo's and should have remained so. Un-released single "New Day" featuring label mate Julie Driscoll and Reggie King on vocals is a tad overwrought with multi-banked voices and some hideous caterwauling yet I still quite like it.
This album was a much sought after rarity and it's easy to see how certain people would find it an intoxicating work but overall it falls short of classic status for me. The playing is exemplary , particularly the guitar work ,but the song writing is patchy and it does sound rather dated at times. If Only For A Moment is an easy album to admire but a much harder one to love .You should hear it but is more likely to have you nodding sagely than gushing like a overheated chocolate fondue.