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Strawbs: Settlement

Listening to the new Strawbs album Settlement is like catching up with an old friend. No matter how long it has been since you put on some of their music, once you start, everything flows easily, like no time has passed. It’s a comfortable and familiar feeling that brings a smile to your face. It’s hard to believe the Strawbs have been at this for over 50 years, and continue to produce such high quality music. For some reason they are a band that falls off the radar, and then you wonder why you have ignored them for so long.

This is a very strong release, showcasing everything the band has to offer. Even more surprising considering it was recorded during the Covid pandemic, and the band were not together, but worked in their home studios sending ideas to each other. The title track kicks things off with an ominous feel, giving us a taste of that classic Mellotron and Organ we all love so much. Cousin’s has stated that the inspiration was drawn from his anger about the government’s inconsistent responses to Covid. “Strange Times” features some beautiful acoustic guitar work, and is basically a reflection on our current situation, a touching and poignant song. I love Cousin’s vocals, not a classic singer in the traditional sense, but his quivering talk/signing approach is comforting in an odd way. As one would expect, they trod down that folksy path with songs “Each Manner of Man” and “The Visit”, and include a few instrumental tracks. The closing “Chorale” has an amazing uplifting melody that strikes a chord. The album ends with this song, but the CD includes 3 bonus tracks that fit perfectly, and are in no way filler. “Champion Jack” features a majestic ending that is pure classic Strawbs, and “Better Days” has tropical island flair.

Settlement is an absolute pleasure, filled with great songs and stories, and has a charm that is undeniable. Don’t pass this one up, it’s a winner!


Track List:
1. SETTLEMENT
2. STRANGE TIMES
3. JUDGEMENT DAY
4. EACH MANNER OF MAN
5. THE VISIT
6. FLYING FREE
7. QUICKSILVER DAYS
8. WE ARE EVERYONE
9. CHORALE
Bonus Tracks
10. CHAMPION JACK
11. BETTER DAYS (LIFE IS NOT A GAME)
12. LIBERTY

Added: June 14th 2021
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 525
Language: english

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