Published On: Thu, Jun 20th, 2019

New albums REVIEWED: Pink Floyd, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, MORE | Music | Entertainment

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Servant of the Sun
(Silver Arrow Records)

The former lead singer of The Black Crowes has taken flight into the light of musical freedom on an album gleaming with positive, sunny vibes.

As the uplifting, cool synth-laden jazzy riff on Some Earthy Delights leads into the funky slide groove on Let It Fall and Rare Birds, there is a relaxed, confident swagger from the off.

The New Orleans infused funk on single Come’n Round The Mountain and the country hues of Dice Game and The Chauffeurs Daughter reveal a band right on top of their game.

A Smiling Epitaph provides just that with its mellow glistening layers of sunshine sonics.

Pink Floyd
The Division Bell
(Pink Floyd Records)

Upon reflection, Pink Floyd’s final album of original songs by its three remaining members ensured they went out with a bang.

Straight in the charts at number 1, the cluster of songs more than stand up to scrutiny on this dazzling blue vinyl 25th-anniversary release. Bound to be an immediate collector’s item, most of the songs were born out of studio jams producing the Grammy-winning instrumental Marooned.

Steven Hawking makes a gimmicky appearance on Keep Talking, a sentiment symbolised by Storm Thorgerson’s inspired album cover.

However, it’s the individual creative strength of the eleven tracks and overall production of this album that rings true down the 25 years since its original release.

Steeleye Span
‘EST’D 1969
(Park Records)

Steeleye Span is now 50 and celebrating with one of their strongest album releases in many a year.

A British folk institution, singer Maddy Prior fronts a settled band of minstrels with her own legendary voice in fine fettle. Opening song Harvest is a recognisable Steeleye stomp and a familiar tale of agricultural injustice in Olde England.

Standout big ballad Old Matron steals the show. Former Span producer, Tull’s Ian Anderson brings his flute to blow tuneful fresh air on this outstanding track.

Elsewhere, there are folk fables of shapeshifting and strange magic on Mackerel of the Sea and fine fiddle playing by Jessie May Smart on Cruel Ship’s Captain.

The final word, though, goes to Maddy Prior on the album-closing Reclaimed, a meditation on the triumph of nature as much as the lasting triumph of this heritage band.

Glen Campbell
The Legacy 1961 – 2017

The 78 songs collected in this updated boxed set, chronicle the musical journey of this Rhinestone Cowboy from his earliest days to his last.

All of his indelible hits: Gentle On My Mind, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Galveston, Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy rub along genially with early cuts Kentucky Means Paradise and honky-tonk oldie Too Late To Worry-Too Blue To Cry.

An integral member of The Wrecking Crew band of session musicians, Campbell’s guitar abilities is presented to the fore throughout this collection.

However, it’s his golden voice of country that shines as personified on I Want To Live. Further Jim Webb collaborations include Where’s The Playground Susie and MacArthur Park.

There are also touching recordings from his final albums Adios, Ghost On The Canvas and his cover versions of, amongst others, Foo Fighters songs from 2008’s Meet Glen Campbell.

Presented with a lavish booklet expertly documenting his life, this is much more than a soupcon of Campbell’s recorded musical life.

Live At Carnegie Hall
(Esoteric/Cherry Red)

Originally released in 1976, and believed to be one of the finest live albums of its era, this newly re-mastered set throws in six extra tracks to please the ears.

Fronted by Annie Haslam, this crack band of troubadours show their class across two discs on Ocean Gypsy, Mother Russia, Carpet Of The Sun and a rare live take of the epic Kiev.

A sold-out Carnegie Hall, clearly revelling in a masterly show of musicianship, add to the atmosphere of this now complete recording.

Further goodies are included with an extra disc of the entire 60-minute performance of their BBC Radio 1 In Concert, further renewing interest in this national treasure.

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