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Non-Prog CD Reviews

David Essex

All the Fun of the Fair

Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue from David Essex is pretty cool. I don’t think I like it as much as some of his other albums. Yet, it has some great moments for sure. It’s just, perhaps, a bit less consistent.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
All the Fun of the Fair

This is sort of a weird piece. The vocal arrangement is a bit intentionally over the top. Musically, it’s part rock, part folk and part psychedelia. This doesn’t work all that well for my tastes, but it is quite creative and dynamic. It has a bit of an excursion into progressive rock territory, too. I do like the harder rocking section that take it at the end quite a bit. It has some cool jamming.

Hold Me Close
Old time music, folk and rock all merge on this. It’s a bouncy kind of pop rocker.
Circles
Now, this cool rocker feels more like the kind of thing I expect from Essex. It’s got a bit of a bluesy rocking edge. There is some of the psychedelic edge that comes with a lot of his music. Yet, it’s also a pretty catchy mainstream rock tune.
If I Could
There is a lot of folk music here. Add in some psychedelia, and you’ll be close to the mix of sounds. This is again more the kind of thing I think of when I hear the name “David Essex.” It’s playful and a bit odd, but also quite cool.
Rolling Stone
This is trippy, psychedelic rock. It has a bit of a Sly Stone thing going on, but is also similar in a lot of ways to “Rock On.” The rocking chorus is more straight rock music, though. This is definitely one of my favorites here.
Won't Get Burned Again
This rocker feels a bit like a cross between the Stones and the Who, but is still recognizable as Essex. It’s another highlight.
Coconut Ice
There’s a real reggae vibe to this. It’s a bit odd, but also fun.
Watch Out (Caroline)
Now, here’s a cut that has a lot in common with “Rock On.” It feels a lot like that song in many ways. It’s a cool rocker for certain.
Here It Comes Again
There is a trippy kind of rocking vibe to this cut. It’s another of my favorites here. It has straight rock, Americana and psychedelia built into it.
Funfair (Reprise)
A reprise of the opening piece, this focuses on the more effective sections. That makes it a superior track, in my book.
Rolling Stone (7" Version)
Here we get the single version of this tune. It works well.
If I Could (7" Version)
Another single edit as bonus track, it’s more of a piano ballad in this format.
 
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