Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beggars Opera-Waters Of Change

This is the second album released By The Scottish band Beggars Opera

Greg Northrup:
The second album from the seminal Scottish group Beggars Opera is probably their best, as Waters of Change shows a significant maturation in the songwriting department, and for the most part eschews the classical rock, over-the-top organ bombast of Act One. Rather, the album is more restrained and melodic, though falling shy of the nondescript "pop music with mellotron" of some of their contemporaries. The album balances complexity and instrumental flair with solid songwriting and addictive melodies, as Alan Park's obviously virtuosic organ playing and Gardiner's fleet fingered, surreal guitar subsume themselves to the greater goal of the song, as it should be.

Although often thought of as a "mellotron album", the instrument is not nearly as dominant as I'd expected, and is ultimately outgunned by the main melodic device, the organ. Still, the 'tron contributes mightily to the album's warm, earthy air. Another highly appealing aspect of the band's work here are Martin Griffiths' vocals. Now, I'm a sucker for eccentric vocalists, and this guy definitely kills me. His powerful, some might say over the top, pipes really carry the main themes perfectly in my opinion. The melodies are pretty much universally addictive and enjoyable throughout, from the semi-melancholy "Time Machine" to the humorous faux medieval jig of "Festival" to the grandiosity of "Silver Peacock". Indeed, for a song based, light hearted and melodic early progressive rock album, one would be hard pressed to come up with a better example than Waters of Change. Everything the band set out to do they seem to have achieved with startling success. Warm and endearing to the last, this is one of the finest albums from this particular era and sub genre

Beggars Opera-Waters Of Change @320

1. Time Machine
2. Lament
3. I've No Idea
4. Nimbus
5. Festival
6. Silver Peacock Intro
7. Silver Peacock
8. Impromptu
9. Fox

ps: echoesof-the-past.blogspot.com

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