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Roy Harper - Flat Baroque And Berserk/Stormcock/Lifemask album reviews

Album Review

Flashes from Mancunian folk rocker Roy Harper’s archives of brilliance

Roy Harper’s always been an outsider. A folk singer who, by his own admission, would often get thrown out of folk clubs for the crime of not being like Ralph McTell, throughout his career he’s thrived on blurring boundaries and subverting expectations. 1970’s Flat Baroque And Berserk catches him more in command of his art than perhaps on any his previous recordings. What’s always been interesting about Harper is his range and interest in presenting stark contrasts and provocative juxtapositions. Achingly beautiful ballads Another Day and Tom Tiddler’s Ground hover angelically next to the righteous, vitriolic ire of I Hate The White Man. This is the point where his reputation as an unflinchingly articulate commentator of real depth is forged. Never quite cap-in-hand to Dylan, this is Harper’s last album with vestigial traces of the Nobel Prize-winning songwriter’s influence. Harper enjoys his own ‘going electric’ shock, joining forces with The Nice and rocking out on Hell’s Angels.

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