A Robe of Silk : In 2 Deep

Reviewlet Larry Pennisi [USA]

I am immediately taken by the airiness of the spatial relationships of the instruments and vocals. A decidedly pop sensibility pervades this interpretation in a late 60s radio playlist mode. I really like the approach taken here. Uncongealed piano dominates the construction. Vocals are undeviating and well-rendered. I can easily envision this having made a chart dent in 'The Before Time'.

Decidedly dated in some ways, it still has a current MOR slant that makes it immediately accessible both musically and lyrically. The baroque veneer is absent with the resultant effect being one of familiarity on a word plain. Unlike the oft-cited complaint that Keithís words are non-linear and oblique, this message seems clearer given the general context of the piece. I find it infectious, actually. The general effect, therefore, is one of optimistic and overt, rather than clandestine, 'goings on'.

By way of listening to archival material, namely the 1973 version of this track from Procolís New York Felt Forum show, it is clear that there are startling differences when contrasting the new PH rendering to the 1973 opus. In 1973, the band segued between sections with a drifting dreamlike interlude that is now the guitar solo. The notes are the same but the adjoining matrix is distinctly freeflowing and hypothetical. I prefer the 1973 version myself to the version on The Wellís on Fire. There is also no organ solo on Procolís í73 outing.

In 2 Deep lends an entirely new slant to this wonderful old jewel from the barrier-breaking compositional years of Brooker/Reid.

Larry Pennisi's main review page

Tracklisting | About the performers | Reviews | Order the album