Harvest 1976 / Esoteric 2017
Another, ever more smooth, ride Westward, from Dear Old Blighty to the Pacific, or where David Gilmour found some inspiration.
If “Blue Pine Trees” was a creative, if not commercial, success, UNICORN’s next album followed the suit in style – or, if the style was basically the same Californian-tinged folk, with gusto. So much so that the LP’s producer David Gilmour borrowed the quietly dramatic “No Way Out Of Here” for his solo debut, and this song – available here also as part of live studio runs through the material – isn’t even the best piece on offer; the outstanding one is the lushly arranged and greatly harmonized title ballad where the FLOYD man shows his pedal steel skills.
The record may be more upbeat than its predecessor, though, yet there’s always pining beneath the sheen, like in the hearty grip of “Bullseye Bill” or the pure country rock of “Weekend” which opens the proceedings. But then, “Disco Dancer” impressively marries rocksteady beat to sweeping strings, whereas the chugging boogie that is “Keep On Going,” hung on Ken Baker and Kevin Smith’s guitars and spiced with a charged funk interlude, and the humorous “He’s Got Pride” with its cowboy harmonies, bar-room piano and mandolin courtesy of bassist Pat Martin, are redneck-reckless. When “In The Mood” and the previously unreleased out-take “So Far Away” slow the pace down, what remains is a bitter-sweet aftertaste that calls for more spins.