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THE POOZIES "Infinite Blue" Pure Records PRCD03

The Poozies. Feisty, spirited, gung ho girls with attitude, who make the Spice Girls look like the Beverly Sisters in drag. Gutsy harmonies married to bouncing arrangements, producing music full of energy and enthusiasm which powers along cheering everything in its path. Well all that was true until their latest CD. "Infinite Blue" showcases a more cosmopolitan, sophisticated and complex sound with a decidedly lower energy level.

This is really a CD of two halves. The half where someone is singing is generally good (and when it is Kate Rusby it is very good). Kate does a particularly fine job on, ace wordsmith Jim Malcolm's anti pollution song, "Neptune" and "The Maid of Llanwellyn". Her voice has an delicate authority, and her strong vocal performance is definitely the highlight of this CD. Mary MacMaster and Patsy Seddon share the remaining vocal duties with two songs each, which despite not always getting the backing they deserve are generally easy on the ear. What is not easy on the ear is the instrumental half. Over complex arrangements which meander hither and thither and often seem to work against the tune are the rule.

Karen Tweed takes staccato accordion playing to a new dimension while the rest seem to take their cue from her and flit in and out of the sets. The result is over elaborate arrangements which not only lose the thread but the listeners interest long before they finish. The swap of Kate Rusby for Sally Barker undoubtedly gave the Poozies increased vocal clout but it deprived them of the engine at the heart of their sound. Without Sally they seem to be drifting in a sea of ever decreasing sounds.

Chris MacKenzie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 30 of The Living Tradition magazine.