Sweetwater

Sweetwater

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    6
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Collector's Choice Sweetwater is the only Sweetwater album to feature Nanci Nevins on vocals throughout, and it's hard to get a grip on. Sometimes it's attractive Californian folk-pop-psych not too far removed from the Mamas & the Papas, as on "Through an Old Storybook"; sometimes it's trying for a rock-Baroque-classical-jazz fusion, although the material doesn't match the ambitions of the arrangements. Whether intentionally or otherwise, Nevins' vocals often recall those of Grace Slick, though she isn't as good. On "My Crystal Spider," they seem to be going for a far-out psychedelic sound; the ascending and descending bit of harsh electronics in the middle sounds uncomfortably close to effects employed, earlier and to more effective use, by the United States of America on "Hard Coming Love." When bands, even on their first album, make multiple comparisons to more renowned acts so inevitable that these form the bulk of a review, it's a good indication that the musicians were not in the same league as those they were trying to emulate.

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