Freedom

Black on White

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    8
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Although this was recorded and released as the soundtrack to a 1968 Italian soft pornography film, it holds up pretty well as a proper album. While Freedom's sound wasn't too original, often sounding like Traffic and Procol Harum, the songs are pretty strong and the playing quite good. If you collect British psychedelia from this period, you can tell right away that these guys were at a higher level than the average such collectible outfits who only did a couple singles or an album; items like "Seeing Is Believing" and "Born Again" would have fit in pretty well on the Chocolate Soup for Diabetics compilations of rare British '60s psych. Mike Lease's classical-influenced organ and piano are especially imaginative, and sometimes they come up with tracks that escape the Procol/Traffic comparisons, like the melodic "The Better Side," with its tasteful dots of orchestration, and "The Butt of Deception," an extremely wry and British tune reminiscent of Ray Davies' late-'60s songs for the Kinks. The CD adds three alternate versions and mixes not available on the original LP, and it doesn't have either of their two rare singles.

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