The Lucky Few

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The second album from this young British folk-rock sextet finds them moving a bit closer to a pop/rock sound, although fiddles and acoustic guitars are still prominent. Where Hazy Daze was more jangly and tradition-based, The Lucky Few opens with the crunchy guitar anthems "Not the Man" and "Mother and Child" before lapsing into gentler (but still rhythmically and texturally potent) fare. Equation's primary attractions remain the same: first, the sumptuously hooky songwriting, and second, the crystalline vocals of Kathryn Roberts. The album is consistent enough to make picking highlights difficult, but several tunes stand out: "Not the Man" opens the album with a powerful blend of folkie tunefulness and rockish muscle; the harmony singing on "Picture the Change" is especially nice; and "Sheffield Park" is a love song that sounds centuries old. Highly recommended.

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