1.StopEternal Birds 2.36
2.StopGuiwenneth of the Green Grass 3.47
3.StopWe Conquered the Golden Age 11.13
4.StopTake It from Me Brother Moses 2.13
5.StopCover Me with Knives 5.31
6.StopChildren of the Ashes 3.13
7.StopAnd Then the Solstice Disappeared 3.32
8.StopFeather-Cloaked Silver Priestess 3.25
Exquisite Idols is Brad Rose's first album as the North Sea, following a collaboration with Rameses III also released on Type, although these two CDs could hardly be more different in sound and feel. Night of the Ankou (the project with Rameses III) featured long, quiet drones; Exquisite Idols is a collection of short songs and experimental tunes in the free folk vein. Not a newcomer on that scene (see the productions he releases on his labels Digitalis and Foxglove), Rose can clearly come up with sweet, simple songs and open them up with a lot of reverb, feedback and multi-tracked acoustic instruments. The album begins with a short accordion instrumental laced with bird songs, followed by the medieval sounding (and mandolin-led) "Guiwenneth of the Green Grass." "Take It from Me Brother Moses" and "Children of the Ashes" are straightforward folk songs in appearance, the first one with a Guthrie feel, the second rooted in the Flower Power heritage. However, the vocal treatments and cleverly colliding guitar parts are typical of the reinvented folk current out of Providence (Rhode Island). "And Then the Solstice Disappeared" and "Feather-Cloaked Silver Priestess" also have a slight Indian feel (sitar, tambura). Wedged in the middle of the album (or at the onset of side two, if you opt for the LP version) is "Cover Me with Knives," a more experimental and raucous track whose sole objective seems to be to disrupt the peace in order to let "Children of the Ashes" soothe things down again afterwards. Exquisite Idols is not the wheel reinvented, but it has good musicianship, sound production values (within the boundaries of the free folk), intelligent songwriting, and it provides a pleasant if slightly dazed listen. François Couture, Rovi
- Experimental Rock, Free Folk
- May 15, 2007
- North Sea
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