Honeybus

Old Masters, Hidden Treasures

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Honeybus is the sort of band adored by collectors of British psychedelia and soft pop, and for good reason; singer/songwriter Pete Dello really was, as one song put it, a "Baroque'n'Roll Star," setting his unapologetically twee minor-key pop songs to luscious orchestral arrangements along the lines of early Bee Gees, only less mopey. However, this may not be the album with which to first discover Honeybus. Although it includes their sole hit, 1968's glorious "I Can't Let Maggie Go," nearly all the rest of the 20 tracks -- excepting that single's immediate predecessor, "Do I Still Figure in Your Life," and a Badfinger-like 1970 single written by guitarist Ray Cane -- come from unreleased sessions recorded between 1971 and 1975 by a reformed version of the group, whom had split after "Maggie"'s success. Most of the material is fine, it's just not as magical as those late-'60s Deram singles (collected on the excellent See for Miles reissue At Their Best) had been.

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