Rolf Harris

The Australian Album

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Originally released in 1972, at a time when Rolf Harris was still threatening to score regular hit singles, The Australian Album is, as its title suggests, a collection of songs that concern themselves exclusively with his homeland -- a far cry and, perhaps, a reassuring one, from the international flavor of his better-known recordings. "Love That Kangaroo," "What's become of Ned Kelly," "Down Under in the Outback," and so on are not folk songs per se; the album often feels more like a succession of home thoughts from abroad. But Harris' love of home shines through even the jokier lyrics, while the instrumentation keeps the mood stable throughout. For fans of his better-known material, like of "Two Little Boys" and "I've Lost My Mummy," The Australian Album might prove heavy going. But anybody who needs to be reminded just how well-rounded a performer Harris was will be enthralled.

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