The Brobdingnagian Bards

Songs of the Muse

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The Brobdingnagian Bards keep evolving, working their way toward a whole album of compositions as good as "Tolkien," which is included here again. And while there are still places to improve on, Songs of the Muse shows that their overall quality is building. "Valeria" is another arrangement that will attract repeat play. The album, which is all instrumental, omits the duo's rather pleasant voices this time, which some fans will miss. It does contain an enjoyable variety of both traditional and modern melodies, however. "Lady Faery" is quite engaging as an arrangement, though the recorder sounds just a touch shrill in spots. Similarly, they include a version of "Greensleeves" that's choppy -- this one also could use some polishing. Listeners may prefer "Featherlight"'s more mellow tones. "Some Say the Devil's Dead" is a quite cheerful original composition and "Morning Song" is distinctly exuberant. Now, some may find 16 selections that are all composed simply of recorder, autoharp, and mandolin to be an overgenerous serving, yet others will be quite pleased with the variety. So it's a stride along the trail in a good direction for the Bards, and listeners can only wish that they'll share more of this in follow-ups, as well as adding their vocals back into the mixture.

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