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One For The Crow CD Cover
Image Cyclops Records 2002 

(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 must listen!

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