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RARE BIRD Rare Bird Esoteric (2007)

Rare Bird

Charisma boss and former sports hack Tony Stratton-Smith must have thought there was indeed something in this record company malarkey when this confident debut for both band and label pulled a two million copy selling single from its midst.

Though it rocks in parts, 'Sympathy' is representative of the album: melodic, occasionally melancholic, pastoral progressive with a pop undertow.

Eschewing guitars for a twin keyboard attack lends the material a plangency well suited to it. Reissues have done the rounds before but this re-mastered release brings bonuses in a 1970 single and B-side mono version of the hit. Informative notes and period images hike the quality level. Compositional and performance talent coupled to an individual sound dealt an even finer album in the follow-up to this strong start. Recommended.


Review by Peter Muir

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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