(02 June 2002) The long-awaited third album from Holland's Flamborough
Head is entitled One For The Crow (Cyclops (UK) CYCL 108, 2002).
The departure of the band's previous vocalist has made room for Margriet
Boomsma to come to the fore, adding a different perspective, and, along
her great flute, whistle and recorder playing, gives some of the tracks
a Mostly Autumn (review) feel.
The album has a lush keyboard orchestral-style opening before the title track introduces itself. A bass solo precedes a break where
excellent guitar and keyboard work abound before slowly evolving back
into the main theme. Vocal harmonies add texture to the material. This studio album is somewhat less dynamic than the band's
live performance and the recording's production lacks some of the flair and
rich progressive texture--sounding a bit shallow in spots--especially when
considering the band's earlier releases.
Epic-length tracks are introduced with short codas of tin whistle,
guitar and keyboards before twists and turns including lush keyboards
Memorable melodies are strung together by virtuous instrumental solos.
Margriet's emotive, theatrical-style vocals are reminscent at times of
Tracy Hitchings (review).
Stunning guitar and keyboard-laced instrumentals introduce one of
the album's standout tracks, "Nightlife." The lyrics give Margriet
to tell the story of a seductress while the band's soaring guitars and
crisp percussion perfectly compliment the vocals. "Old Forest" is
a lovely acoustic-style instrumental appropriately seeded with the
Celtic overtones of flute and recorder.
The classic rock track "Limestone Rock," is a certain to be a runaway
success for Flamborough Head. The highly accessible main melody will
attract broad appeal while a vast instrumental solo in the song's bridge
reminds the listener of the band's progressive roots. We especially
enjoyed the lead vocal and supporting harmony layers and the recorder
solo buried within the song's bridge.
Flamborough Head's third album One For The Crow is a highly
enjoyable work and one that will appeal to new and old fans alike. The
one criticism we have with the recording is the that the production
quality is not as good as the band's earlier releases.
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album at amazon.co.uk
here. Clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, the album is a