Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Andy Roberts with Everyone - Andy Roberts with Everyone 1971 - (Isle of Wight 1970)

In the early '70s, the Ampex label was marketing the work of Andy Roberts in a most confusing and somewhat misleading way. When they issued his early-'70s LP Home Grown, it actually combined tracks from two previous editions of the album with others that appeared on his second proper solo record, Nina and the Dream Tree. And although Andy Roberts With Everyone was simply credited as a self-titled LP by Everyone in his native United Kingdom, the reworked title on Ampex implied that it was a Roberts album, rather than an album by the group Everyone. Whatever the billing, Andy Roberts With Everyone really isn't an Andy Roberts solo album; it's a band endeavor by Everyone, with Roberts only writing half of the eight songs, most of the other material coming from keyboardist Bob Sargeant. It's a curiously at-odds-with-itself work, low-key easygoing early-'70s rock sharing space with a couple of Sargeant-dominated efforts that verge on bombastic boogie-prog rock. The Roberts tunes are likable in a mild way, though there's nothing nearly as good as Home Grown highlights like "Queen of the Moonlight World" and "The One-Armed Boatman and the Giant Squid." Instead, it sometimes sounds like a bridge between folk-rock and pub rock. While Sargeant does contribute a fair ballad in "Sad," his flashy prog rock keyboard workouts on "Too Much a Loser" and "This Way Up" almost suggest he's trying to push the band into some weird sub-Emerson, Lake & Palmer or Deep Purple territory. That was an approach incompatible with not just Roberts' music, but the rest of the record as a whole, sealing its status as an inconsistent, fairly unremarkable album. AMG. Thanks to RareMp3!

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