Arthur the King

Arthur the King

by Maddy Prior


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Arthur the King

Maddy Prior has challenged herself -- and her fans -- continuously throughout her illustrious career. While many of her solo releases since Steeleye Span's mid-'70s heydays have been spotty, they've never been boring. That troubadour spirit continues on "Arthur the King," a ten-part song cycle concerning the historical King Arthur, augmented by five tracks that revisit her early work both bold and brittle. Teaming up once again with longtime collaborator/producer Troy Donockley, Arthur the King channels the Steeleye Span art rock glory of records like Storm Force Ten and Commoner's Crown, while maintaining the contemporary sound of more recent endeavors. Nick Holland's solid and imaginative keyboards, Terl Bryant on drums and percussion, and the aforementioned Donockley utilizing his multi-instrumental skills on electric and acoustic guitars, whistles, and cittern provide a lucid canvas for Prior's (still breathtaking) vocals. Memorable cuts include "Veturae Remembering," a call-and-response ballad that finds the legendary King reminiscing about his childhood in Rome, and "Tribal Warriors," a balls-out rocker that finds Prior channeling angry youth with a vigor that would make women half her age envious. The five tracks that make up Arthur's second half are more inconsistent. While the rousing Prior/Donockley-penned "Hail the Ball" is one of her finest in years, her reworking of "Lark in the Morning" and "Reynardine" are pretty but unnecessary. Arthur the King is a slow grower, but at this stage in her career Prior has no need to "give the people what they want," and that more than anything makes what she has accomplished here more than worthy of placement in her remarkable canon.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/28/2004
Label: Park Records
UPC: 0769934005825
catalogNumber: 58

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