The Ashes

The Ashes

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The rare and sole album by the Ashes is worth seeking by folk-rock aficionados, though it's not truly essential, and not worth the high prices it commands on the collector market. It's low-key circa-1967-1968 folk-rock, highlighted by Pat Taylor's assured, stirring vocals. Like the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, there are bits of Los Angeles folk-rock giants like the Byrds and the Mamas & the Papas floating around that don't coalesce into anything as recognizable or significant as the Byrds or the Mamas & the Papas. The Ashes, though, have a more pronounced country-rock touch at times than the Peanut Butter Conspiracy do. They also don't sound like they're trying quite so hard to be far-out and beatific, and for that reason they might be more appealing to some listeners than the Peanut Butter Conspiracy are. Nothing on the album is as good as the best cuts from their more pop-oriented non-LP singles, and some of the songs are mediocre, like the cover of "Homeward Bound" and the infrequent junctures during which a male singer (or singers) take over the leads from Taylor. It has its share of nice songs, though, like "Return Home" and "Look Around Rock," and is at its best when Taylor emphasizes her vibrato timbre.

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