Titus Groan

Titus Groan

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    5
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Collectors have mixed opinions on this 1970 Dawn offering that range from those who believe it is a work of varying moods typifying the underground rock scene of the time to those who feel it's self indulgent, boring drivel. All the clich├ęs that lead to prog being viewed as something of a musical joke are present: 11-minute songs, schizophrenic changes, and the addition of medieval-inspired woodwinds. If the fun of contemporary acts such as Caravan is missing (the dour Mervyn Peaks probably were their main inspiration), the album's post-psychedelic songs do shine through in places. Hints of the Pretty Things' SF Sorrow are to be heard in some of the vocal arrangements, and the poppish elements of "It's All Up With Us" are indeed very good. The fact that Titus Groan tried so hard to be prog is their downfall. As a standard pop record, this could have been great, but the constant twiddling becomes off-putting so quickly, which is a shame. In hindsight, this is an album that is well worth skimming through for the finer moments -- but watch out for the progressive nuances.

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