Sunday, 7 December 2008

Greg Weeks - The Hive Album Review

Espers frontman flirts with prog rock and freak folk on impressive solo album

Through his work with Philadelphia's Espers and various solo collaborations, Greg Weeks is often conveniently lumped in with Devendra Banhart and his raggle-taggle bunch of freak folk nomads. His third solo album, The Hive, certainly won't estrange him from that movement; however, Weeks' sauntering blend of baroque-tinged prog rock and cosmic folk suggests he draws just as heavily from the courts of King Crimson as he does from more conventional folksy types Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Weeks' songwriting spans the centuries: the hats of court minstrel and new-age hippy fit equally comfortably, united by a dominant array of keyed instruments and splashes of whistles and flutes. But it's his attempt at contemporariness that is the album's weakest point - a nauseating, slowed down take on Madonna's Borderline. Whilst not as captivating as his work with Espers, The Hive is an enjoyable album that shows the New Weird America front still has plenty to offer.


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