Peter, Paul and Mary

No Easy Walk to Freedom

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This collection of lesser-known songs by '60s folk greats Peter, Paul & Mary will probably best appeal to die-hard fans. It is a fun album that delivers everything one would expect from the trio: simple acoustic guitar melodies, great harmonies, and memorable songs. However, none of these songs -- with the possible exception of the title track -- could be classified as one of PP&M's greatest hits. Some of them (e.g., "Right Field," which is about a softball game) are quirky little tunes; others ("State of the Heart") are soft, pretty love songs with Casio-sounding keyboards in the background. There can be no doubt that the band remembers its role as a political mouthpiece -- "El Salvador" and "Greenland Whale Fisheries" make it abundantly clear that they haven't forgotten their responsibilities. "Light One Candle," a rousing song backed by the New York Choral Society, has gone on to become a favorite of Jewish summer camps and synagogues. Overall, their zeal seems somewhat diminished, however. Instead of a call to arms or an ode to changing times, the songs often seem more introspective, more wistful -- possibly, one could say, less idealistic. This is one of the trio's later releases and, if their fire is a bit dimmed, one can't blame them. However, if you want a CD that brings you back to the dawn of the flower-child generation, this probably isn't the one.

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