3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not Quite What I Expected But Glad I've Finally Had A Chance To Listen To This,
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
I love 70s prog and folk rock but being 34 years old I missed the heyday for these bands and so a lot of the albums from that era I sort of stumble upon through chance, links to other bands or from being suckered in by a nice looking cover picture (hello Olias of Sunhillow).
Steeleye Span is my favourite folk rock band and after hearing that two of their number made a stand alone album called The King of Elf Land's Daughter I've always wanted to hear it. The name alone makes it sound just like my sort of thing.
Unfortunately it's been unavailable for donkey's years ... until now!
I've got to admit, after waiting so long to hear this album I was rather disappointed after my first listen. The first track on the album has some decidedly dodgy singing on it, which got things off to a bad start.
I was expecting the album to sound a lot more folky than it does. I'd put this squarely in the prog rock category, which isn't a bad thing as I love a bit of prog, but it wasn't what I'd been anticipating for this.
Christopher Lee narrates the unfolding story in between tracks, and whilst there's nothing wrong with Mr Lee's narration (the guy is a living legend after all), for some reason the volume of the narration seems to tail off towards the end of his passages. I found myself having to turn the volume up quite high to properly hear what he was saying, only to then be blasted by the next track when it kicked in.
A lot of the songs are sung by characters from the story and some of them sound a bit laughable on first listen. There's one song sung by The Troll and it just sounds like someone doing a poor Gollum impression.
So, after my first listen the verdict would be 'not great'.
However .... there's something about this album. It's a grower. I'd been waiting so long to hear it I thought I've got to give it a fair shake and listened to it a few more times. Whereas before the songs sounded twee and forgettable, now I'm finding them stuck in my head. I even like the Gollum/Troll song. Christopher Lee rumbles through one musical track in his deep baritone voice and it's like listening to Saruman stretching his prog muscles. I love the cover art. You know, I kinda like it.
So all in all, I'm glad I bought this album. It's one that takes a bit of effort to get the most out of and it's certainly got some failings, but if you can get over those it's really quite charming.