Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Incredible String Band|
Hard Rope & Silken Twine
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
ISB Try Something Different and Do Not Please
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 06/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"`Hard Rope and Silken Twine' is a very atypical album by The Incredible String Band on Island rather than their original home, Elektra and produced by Mike Heron rather than their long time handler, Joe Boyd. I just got finished reviewing a Donovan Leitch collection and commented that he often changed his style to fit the times and his perceived audience. And, until I came to review this album, I thought how constant and true to their basic style Heron and Williamson has been. That is, up until this album.
There are six tracks on this album on which they seem to be aping styles from Procol Harum to Yes to the Blues Brothers take on country and western music.
On top of that, the sound quality on some cuts is very uneven. Either some cuts were recorded in the studio and some were recorded live, or they were recorded at two or more different live venues.
My primary interest in this review is to warn you off if you really like albums such as `The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter' or `The Big Huge Wee Tam'. I temper that warning with the observation that if you also happen, like me, to really like Procol Harum, then you may want to take a chance with this one. Only two out of the six tracks are by Williamson, so if it is Robin's peculiar way with lyrics which entrances you about The Incredible String Band, then I suggest you look to some of their earlier albums or Williamson's solo efforts (but be choosy here, the quality is uneven. My best recommendation would be the album he did together with John Renbourn).
On the other hand, the cover art is delightful.
The ISB go prog
The Soft Machine Operator | COVENTRY, WARWICKSHIRE United Kingdom | 08/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A bit of a messy album - two nice ballads (One from Heron, one from LeMaistre), two muggy sounding live songs, a wonderful Williamson song & a prog rock epic.The ballads are both nice. Williamson's "Dreams of No return" features the sitar and sounds like something circa "Liquid Acrobat."Someone once said that the ISBs songs go from A to B to C through to Z, rather than following a typical song structure. This is evident on Ithkos, a 20 minute long Epic that begins with twanging Greek sounding instruments, rolls around in acoustic mode for a bit, zips through a bit of heavy Wishbone Ash rock, dips into some orchestral bits, then ends with a Synth workout. Never boring. I can see why some fans dislike this album, but I loved it, even if they were recycling themselves a bit."
S. GODFREY | Risca, South Wales | 04/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The last ISB album, and while it has its moments of genius they are much more thinly scattered than on earlier records and the whole thing is a little cumbersome....from a band who wove such filigree masterpieces as "Hangman's" and "Wee Tam" this was really quite sad. Most of the music here actully worked a whole lot better in a live setting: the epic "Ithkos" was a total blast on their final tour. Perhaps though, considering the prog-rock excesses that were going on at the time, it was just as well ISB decided to throw in the towel after this album. Still worth getting to complete the collection and for "Dreams of no Return" (a major return to form from Robin), but a long way from their best. Nice cover art."