Mr. Fox

Join Us in Our Game: Anthology

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Mr. Fox always stood out from their '70s British folk-rock contemporaries. They tended to disregard electric guitar for other instruments, and weave complex arrangements that highlighted the music rather than any technical virtuosity. Fronted by Bob and Carole Pegg, there was often a darkness about their own material that's especially evident on this reissue of Mr. Fox and The Gypsy. Songs like "Mr. Fox" and "The Hanged Man" seemed to linger on the shadows, and the standard of songwriting was consistently good throughout (with a couple of exceptions, "Elvira Madigan," which is far from essential, and the long, overly tedious "The Gypsy"). But they're outweighed by the delights, which even extend to a pair of traditional arrangements, "The House Carpenter" (performed with suitable portent) and "All the Good Things," which saw them taking a brief detour into Americana. It's interesting hearing these discs more than 30 years after their release; there's a definite freshness about them still, and the sense of adventure they possessed seems to be alive in the new generation making traditionally influenced acoustic music. Great songwriting, intermittently great delivery, and well worth investigating.

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