Crystal Jacqueline - Await The Queen album review

Wistful Wiltshire yarn-spinner comes to court

Crystal Jacqueline - Await The Queen album artwork

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If you have a burning desire to own a sprawling double album full of arcane acid folk musings then this regal offering delivers not only in spades but also in trowels, pitchforks and all manner of Spear & Jackson-related implements.

Crystal Jacqueline and her muse, producer/songwriter/guitarist Icarus Peel, have conjured up a mysterious and seductive box of tricks that at its very best recalls the Incredible String Band at their very best. Highlights are many. On Someone Ms Jacqueline’s vocals are both ghostly and commanding, Peel contributing a beautiful guitar solo that can only be described as David Gilmour meets Michael Schenker. Crumble (sadly not of the apple variety) has a distinct Love/Forever Changes vibe. Yesterlove is a forlorn ballad, its semi-narrative format cut from the same cloth as The Windmills Of Your Mind. Faerie Tears is 100 per cent otherworldly, as befits its magickal (sic) moniker. One White Day is decidedly Jefferson Airplane-esque, although bizarrely Peel’s six-string emulates the riff to Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive. And so it goes on. The one drawback is that, on the more straightforward tracks, Crystal Jacqueline’s singing can sound a little am-dram at times.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.