Friday, October 15, 2010

'Hedonism' by Bellowhead

15 October 2010

I was very excited to get hold of a copy of the new album from the brilliant English folk big band Bellowhead (reviewed here in October 2006 and February 2009) this week. ‘Hedonism’ is the band’s third album and it doesn’t disappoint. Bellowhead continue to push the boundaries of their own peculiar sub-genre, enlisting the help of experienced rock music producer John Leckie, and ‘Hedonism’ has a more varied and experimental feel than its predecessors. But the characteristic Bellowhead swagger is still strongly in evidence and the best tracks sound engagingly familiar, even on the first listen. I’m not sure all the diversions into jazz and funk completely work (strangely the semi-spoken rendition of ‘the Hand Weaver and the Factory Maid’ reminds me of ‘Shopping for Clothes’ by The Coasters – not typical territory for an English folk song!). But the best of ‘Hedonism’ is Bellowhead at its best: the impossibly catchy opening track ‘New York Girls’ is a perfect example. Tap, whistle, stamp, sing, dance: you know you want to!

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At 6:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. I thought The Hadweaver etc. was one of the strongest tracks. Haven't made up my mind yet whether their version of Amsterdam is brilliant or not quite there. It worked a lot better live.



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