on 19 October 2008
I read a review in "Classic Rock" magazine that sang the praises of this album to the rafters, claiming it was as good as from their 70s heyday. The review prompted me to buy the album a little bit quicker than I would have done...unfortunately, I cannot agree.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good Strawbs album and certainly better than "Blue Angel", a more recent effort than the 70s (although the title track of that album is better than anything on here). "Deja Fou", however, is better.
Dave Cousins is in fine voice and the album is fairly rocky with plenty of good guitar work from Dave Lambert and less folk-rock influence than on many other of their albums but the tunes, for me, are not strong enough to transcend the album from good to great. It's good, yes, but it's not "From the Witchwood", "Grave New World", "Bursting at the Seams" or "Hero and Heroine" to name a few.
So, if you haven't got those, I suggest you get them first!
on 25 March 2009
No-one does apocalypse quite like Dave Cousins, and if this is the Strawbs' best album since their seventies heyday then it's not surprising that it throws more than a passing nod to their "Grave New World" masterwork.
Almost four decades may have passed since then, and the threat facing the world today may be very different from that foreshadowed on "New World" (witness the title track in which the protagonist's new husband kisses her goodbye before going off to blow himself up on a train) but in his mid sixties Cousins can still pack a punch as a musical harbinger of doom.
With its eastern-influenced arrangement "The Call To Action" ploughs a similar furrow to the Eagles' recent "Long Road Out of Eden", only a lot more convincingly.
Crashing cymbals abound and massed instruments roar menacingly in familiar Strawbs style, while Dave Cousins' unmistakeable drawl presides over it all. Dave Lambert chips in with a couple of decent songs but this is very definitely Cousins' show and he seems to be relishing every moment of it.
It would be unrealistic to expect anything new to reach the heights of their seventies output - and it's amazing how fresh that old material still sounds today - but the prime exponents of prog-folk are still alive and well forty years on, even if these days they seem to be a lot more 'prog' and a lot less 'folk'.
And it seems they're not ready to grow old gracefully just yet.
on 6 November 2008
This is a fine body of work which stands up alongside their most famous 1970s albums. Dave Cousins is still not afraid to tackle thorny subjects like terrorism. New World from the seventies covered the troubles in Northern Ireland whilst here, The Call To Action relates to matters further east.
If this album were released in 1975, it would be high up in the charts. Maybe it will be anyway!
on 6 July 2013
I was disapointed with "Deja Fou" and other recent years cds by this band. Did now owned this one. As a body of work is strong and Dave Cousin s' voice and singin is his best in years. I am a big Dave Lambert fan, and regret his limited colaboration similar to the one The Who allowed the late John Entwistle. Lambert is a singer one will prefer over Cousins nasal voice and also a terrific songwriter. Dave Lambert should write and sing more. This album is highly recomended.