Toy Balloon CD
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Top Customer Reviews
This album is not bad at all. But I don’t like it as much as his previous offering When the Circus came to town.
Here on this album it does feel like just another Bert Jansch album. Not that it a bad one at all. It just doesn’t have the same spark as the last one.
The album begins with a good cover of a song by Jackson C Frank called Carnival.
This track although and inspired choice of song to cover doesn’t break new ground for Jansch. The next track is from Traditional source,.She moved through the fair. But despite being an interesting version there is a lack of originality that you would sort of expect from Jansch.
The remaining songs are be Jansch and this is where the album really gets going with some good original compositions.
The album sound is somewhat different to the last two albums by Jansch. Most likely due to the other musicians that help out on the recording.
This time we get Marcus Cliff on Bass, Pick Withers on drums, Johnny Hodge on Slide guitar and harmonica, Jay Burnett on keyboards, Pee Wee Ellis on saxophone, B J Cole on pedal steel, Janie Romer on backing vocals and Laura B on effects.
There is a strong blues feel to the album with echoes of Davy Graham in the playing but this is not one of my favourite albums that lacks enough folk influence for my liking.
One Track Born and Bred in Old Ireland is a re recording of a song originally recorded for, but not included in the last album When the Circus came to Town.
Despite this album not being one of my favourite Bert Jansch creations it is still worth having for the completist who wants to collect Jansch.
There are some good songs on here.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
His leathery voice continues to fight shy of hitting the precise note but that's his charm and he picks and writes perfectly for it: Jackson C. Frank's 'Carnival', the exquisite title track, 'Toy Balloon' that's tailor-made for the movie theme song of Ian McEwan's "Everlasting Love", if and when it makes celluloid; "She Moved through the Fair" with the familiar Davy Graham-type modal twists and the rhyme that only Bert would come up with: who else would, with a straight face, match, "Oh my young love said to me, my mother won't mind" with "And my father won't slight you for your lack of kine."? God bless the knave.
On the livelier side, it certainly sounds like he's having fun on the statutory rockin' blues tunes, but I've never come to terms with that particular energetic side of BJ's repertoire; is it that his voice isn't quite up to it, or the formulaic harmonica and drums and bland middle-eight instrumental just don't excite? Whatever, listen to the quieter, more melodic tracks and then remind yourself of the earlier goodies like "It Don't Bother Me" or even "Jack Orion", and just marvel and thank Le Bon Dieu that Mr Jansch is still with us and stronger than ever.