Exposé Online banner

Strawbs — Déjà Fou
(Witchwoood Media WMCD2020, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Déjà Fou Cover art

Ghosts was the first Strawbs record I ever heard, and I seem to remember liking it immensely from the first play; the band quickly became one of my favorites, a position they’ve held for thirty years. I’ve grown cynical enough to be doubtful that a reformation of this classic line-up could live up to its history – I’m also open-minded enough to give it a chance, and my verdict comes down on the positive side. In fact, my only complaint is that Dave Cousins’ voice is sounding a little ragged these days, so the massed harmonies aren’t as “angelic” as they used to be. But his voice was always on the edge of control, so that’s a minor issue. The songwriting (mostly Cousins, with a couple of Lamberts and some collaborations) is uniformly strong, and the arrangements don’t pander to contemporary fashions (with only a bit of drum machine noticeable on one track). The foundation of acoustic guitars, bass, and drums is augmented by a variety of keyboards (mostly vintage sounding), electric guitar, banjo, and a string quintet. The tracks are divided fairly evenly between delicate acoustic and more intense electric sounds, and the emotional tone varies nicely from melancholy to loving to philosophical to vitriolic social commentary. There’s also a variety in terms of length and complexity, from short, simple songs (“On a Night Like This”) to longer epics (“The Russian Front”). In some ways, Déjà Fou sounds more like a direct follow up to Ghosts than Nomadness was.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Dave Cousins, Strawbs, Dave Lambert

More info
http://www.witchwoodrecords.co.uk

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Gathering - Mandylion – I've heard this group mentioned in the same breath as The Third and the Mortal, so I decided to check out one of their releases. Hailing from the Netherlands, The Gathering is Rene Rutten...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues