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Early Vertigo gem
on 17 August 2006
Though reputedly jazz-influenced, Affinity's 1970-released album is rock in the spirit of its age, composed mainly of radical interpretations of outside material. Lynton Naiff's Hammond playing and Linda Hoyle's Julie Driscoll-like vocal are the most prominent elements, but the sound tends to be a dense and intense melting pot of all its components, which, on the louder, faster sections seem to bleed into one another.
Personal favourites are 'Night Flight' with slow, haunting sections sandwiching an exhilarating middle section, as well as the brooding 'Mr Joy', on which Linda Hoyle goes all breathy. 'Three Sisters' features some great guitar-led jamming while some of the tracks benefit from being augmented by brass. My only reservation of the album proper is yet another cover of 'All Along The Watchtower' which is overlong and overdone.
The eight bonus tracks are culled from a wide variety of sources. The spirited cover of Laura Nyro's 'Eli's Coming' is probably Hoyle's doing as she recorded another Nyro song on her solo album. The rest of the songs are of variable quality, both with regard to content and sound. Mose Allison's 'If You Live' is pretty good, 'Long Voyage' deserves a clearer sound and 'I Am The Walrus' is of dubious potential for anyone to tackle. Only a couple of these tracks are original, 'Yes man' being mediocre, 'Little Lonely Man' the product of a crude recording.
'Affinity' is, overall, a fine purchase for fans of rock of the progressive spirit of the time, but all the best music is in the first six tracks.