What a fantastic album this is! Given The Impossible by British band The Far Meadow is a real prog jewel. Great melodies, classic sounds, brilliant musicianship and more and more. I saw the Far Meadow a few years ago in London and that was a very nice surprise. And now they come with this album. From the first notes you're into it.
Singer Marguerita Alexandrou has a very characteristic voice and I love it. Her way of singing fits the music perfectly. She brings a folky feel to the melodic prog of the band. Paul Bringloe (drums) and Keith Buckman (bass) lay down a foundation on which Eliot Minn (keyboards and backing vocals) and Denis Warren (guitars) play their wonderful parts. Lots of beautiful reminisces to the Canterbury scene come forward, the sounds, the chord changes, the jazzy kind of music. The organ sometimes sounds a bit like Jethro Tull in the early years. Great when a piano is used to the full and the classic synthesizers give just that extra. Warren plays one melodic solo after another and his sound is fantastic.
OK, but what are the songs like? Let me start with the last song of the album: The Seamless Shirt. This is The Far Meadow's version of Scarborough Fair. It starts a bit Yes-like with the band on full throttle and suddenly Scarborough Fair starts, beautifully sung by Alexandrou. Great drum work from Bringloe and heavy bass playing by Buckman in this song. A great finish of an amazing album that doesn't have any weak points. The songs can sometimes be short, but there is also the epic Himalaya Flashmop that clocks over 16 minutes. Warren starts this off with some mean guitar and the song changes every moment without becoming a mess. Absolutely brilliant. More highlights? Yes, the vocals in A Gentle Warrior. But as I said there is not one bad song on this album.
A real classic, but totally up to date progressive rock album. One of the highlights for me this year!
***** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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