Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grey folk, 23 Feb 2009
This review is from: That's Proper Folk (Audio CD)
When I saw this cd advertized I scanned the list of artists, seeing a couple that I already know and like a lot (Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy), a couple I could take or leave, and a host of artists I'd read about but never heard. That, the excellent price, and high number of exclusive and non-album tracks made me eager to snap this one up.

I've had it for a couple of months now and I have not warmed to it at all. That's not to say that it's bad, but to me it is far from arresting. The collection has a general greyness about it to me, with a few exceptions (Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy again). There seems to be a rather depressing lack of invention here, whilst I don't mean to knock anybody, most of the young artists here sound like they really really want to be over 50 years old as soon as they possibly can. Where's the spark and vitality of youth? Comparing the young upcoming artists here to the exciting innovations in folk of the late 60s and early 70s I find this fare is really left wanting.

This cd would benefit greatly from a broader view of folk that encompasses some of the so-called "acid folk" artists, along with some fire and vitality along the lines of the Watersons or Young Tradition.

The folks who compiled this collection might for all I know have their fingers on the pulse of where it's at right now, but they appear to me to have narrow tastes, like too many of the respected critics in folk magazines, and staying in their own comfort zones they have chosen some fusty music by people who they approve of, ignoring the fact that there are more colours than grey in folk.

The Bellowhead track is far from fusty, I love E.P.Onymous and Burlesque, and welcome getting the non-album track, but don't think it's a particularly good example of their work, and the cheerful audience clapping along in time strips it of it's magic. The Eliza Carthy track, whilst astonishing when set in a grey-folk context, and a highlight of this disc, doesn't completely do it for me either. My favourite moment on here is the Kathryn Williams and Neil MacColl track, which has a quality that sets it apart from the pack.
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Location: Canada

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