AGAPANTHOS – Agapanthos
Agapanthos were a Greek trio whose 1976 album contained some fine acoustic folk and folk-rock. All the lyrics were in Greek, but the music was really quite accessible to a Western audience, with the folk influences of their homeland kept to a minimum. ‘Galinia’ is an upbeat opener, showing that all of the group had good voices, and could harmonise extremely well. ‘Katerina’ is an acoustic ballad, enhanced by some understated orchestration on the chorus, while ‘Stin Cultura’ is something of a novelty song, with its vocals interjections and use of euphonium. ‘Onira’ is a showcase for the vocals talents of the group, with most of the song being sung in three part harmony. ‘Mavromata Kopelia’ is another orchestrated ballad, with a naggingly familiar melody, and the harmonica on ‘Lefteris’ gives it a distinctly Dylan-ish feel. ‘Pote Stin Distichia’ is just mandolin, guitar and vocal, and the result is just a lovely folk song. The biggest surprise on the album, however, is ‘To Taxidi Tis Zois’, which is nothing less than a Greek interpretation of ‘Woodstock’! ‘Tora’ is a jaunty folk-rock piece, and ‘Politismos’ has military drumming, accordian, and sing-a-long chorus. The album closes with ‘Epilogos’, sung in both Greek and English, and ends this fine album on a joyous note. Some people might find this a little ‘soft-rock’ for their tastes, but I think that there is enough variety and quality musicianship on here to elevate it above that.