And I Turned as I Had Turned as a Boy

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The debut album by this English progressive/folk trio has aged extremely well. The songs, although not strikingly original, offer an eerie mix of traditional- and fantasy-based (and even science fiction-inspired) lyrics that are rather striking to hear in the 21st century. And much of the music successfully melds archaic and progressive influences within an acoustic instrument framework, reminiscent in some respects of the bolder work of Amazing Blondel, but with a greater emphasis on lyricism. Of course, it's difficult to listen to a spaced-out folk revival piece like "Ghost of the Wandering Minstrel Boy" without a chuckle, though the haunt count of the chorus puts that song over, and the mix of folk melody and deep-space sensibilities makes one wonder if this song might have been part of the inspiration for Brian May's "39" from Queen's A Night at the Opera. The simple beauty of the music is almost overwhelmed at times by too-elaborate production, though the presence of actor Richard Todd as narrator on "Sonnet to the Fall" and "Caravan" isn't nearly as jarring today as it seemed in the early '70s. He sounds too much like Richard Burton, but "Caravan," the track on which he is most prominent, holds together well as a piece of faux-medieval folk-rock.

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