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Elaine Samuels And Kindred Spirit - 2019 - “Elemental”

(53:02; Elaine Samuels)


I distinctly remember enjoying the last album, ‘Phoenix Rising’, so am pleased to now review the next release. ‘Elemental’, and I note Kindred Spirit have now added the word “Band” in case anyone didn’t know who they were. There have also been a few changes in personnel since the last release, and the current line-up is Martin Ash (violin, viola), Catherine Dimmock (flute, saxophone), Mike Hislop (bass), drummers Aleem Saleh and Les Binks (ex- Judas Priest) with Stevie Mitchell providing some additional cello and sax. While I found I still enjoyed the album, particularly Elaine’s singing and songs, there are times when the arrangements drag it down as opposed to lift it up. More reflection made me realise that many times this is actually down to the drumming, which can be incredibly basic when the rest of the band can be flying in different ways. If more patterns were being deployed this would give a very different feel. This feels like one of those albums where a band just doesn’t manage to capture the energy and passion in the studio, but in concert would be a very different beast indeed. The album covers folk, folk rock, folk prog, and is right up my particular musical alley given I flew from one side of the world to the other (literally) to attend a folk rock festival, and some of the bands I have seen most often in concert are Fairport Convention and Mundy Turner, and there are definitely some songs on this album I really enjoyed. It is just there are times when I feel it could be lifted as opposed to a be dragged down and the result is a solid good album as opposed an exceptional one.

Progtector: April 2020

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Elaine Samuels


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