7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Classic late 1968...,
This review is from: The Family That Plays Together (Audio CD)
Underrated and increasingly forgotten Spirit's second album is a near perfect encapsulation of where high quality "progressive" rock music was in late 1968. Meticulously produced and featuring absolutely top-notch playing & singing it draws on the huge diversity of styles floating round the music scene at the time - from hard rock, through West Coast harmonies & country-folk to the emerging jazz/rock scene - and pulls them into a satisfying whole held together by a series of high quality songs.
Five stars then? Well not quite. The problem is that, like their first album "Sprit", it's almost too perfect and, at times, all a little too contrived. But it's close... as the driving "I Got A Line On You", the beautifully reflective "It Shall Be" and the wonderful, Band-like "Darlin' If" amply show. And, on those that don't quite hit the highs of these three outstanding tracks, you get a great deal of clever production, a series of excellent instrumental breaks and some unforgettable tunes.
And that's late 1968 for you... a long way from the sheer enthusiasm and barrier-bending innovation of the previous two years but with a much broader pallet of styles to work off. While most of their peers were imploding, losing the plot or just waiting for something to happen Spirit captured this odd, transitional period of rock music and in "The Family That Plays Together" moulded it into something that reflected the best of it all.