MARMALADE - REFLECTIONS OF THE MARMALADE (DECCA 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 9 bonus MP3/Flac
The group's second album is a diverse collection of tracks that manages to take in elements of country-rock, lite-rock, and psychedelia -- and occasionally comes up with winning moments do to some tight songwriting. The band had a great sound that seemed to fall somewhere between the Small Faces and Bread. As much of a vehicle as the album might have been for "Reflections of My Life," there are several tracks that manage to stand out after a few listens. From the excellent bit of countrified harmony pop that is "Carolina on My Mind" to the fragile, baroque ballads like "Dear John" and "And Yours in Piece of Mine," the group delivers flowery soft rock with Left Banke-esque touches and dashes of Moog. The track "Kaleidescope" is precisely the kind of psychedelic overload you would expect. "Fight Say the Mighty" takes the rollicking country-rock route for awhile before dropping in a buzzing Moog and a disorienting, crashing cymbal at the end of each chorus.
"Reflections of My Life" is probably the group's finest moment as it fuses harmony, colorful orchestration, and soul music into one triumphant four-minute pop song. The guitar solo featured in the middle is one that must have fallen from the pages of George Harrison's songbook. "And Yours in Piece of Mine" follows the same formula as "Reflections," while not soaring quite so high, but still managing to effectively blend syrupy orchestration and harpsichord. Through and through, the pop guitar work of Junior Campbell and vocalist Dean Ford manage to make things consistently interesting. If you are a fan of psychedelic lite-pop and soft folk-rock, this is a great release from a great, unsung band.[allmusic]
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