The Strawbs

Burning for You

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The Strawbs' second and final album for their new label starts off promisingly with the moody and expansive "Burning for Me"; Dave Cousins sings with restraint over a somber repeating theme on piano and strings, and it ends with a hint of a Moog solo. Alas, later numbers like "Keep on Trying" turn out to be a limply insincere sort of "positive pop," which is all the more grating given the sincere moodiness of the band's earlier work. "Back in the Old Routine" is a patronizing mimicry of the working bloke, a sort of folky watering down of their old hit "Part of the Union." Cousins at least gets back a bit of his old bile in "Alexander the Great," where he gives a sour kiss-off to music critics -- who, at this point, probably weren't listening anyway.

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