2 out of 5 Stars!
I really wanted to love this album, especially after reading numerous plaudits regarding the female singer, Annisette Koppel, and how the band was supposedly so innovative (“sooo ahead of its time”) for a late-sixties’ group.
But in general, I find The Savage Rose a rather unimpressive Psychedelic/Blues Rock band from Denmark, hardly ahead of its time, but instead reminding me on occasion of groups such as Big Brother & The Holding Company or Jefferson Airplane (especially when the band incorporates loose “gang vocals” on several tracks, such as on the verses of “Long Before I was Born” or the Gospel-inspired “I’m Walking Through the Door”). Oddly enough, they come across more like a West Coast (San Francisco) band instead of a European one. Both jazz and country overtones pop up from time to time (“Evenings Child,” for instance), with piano/organ being dominant on most tracks as opposed to guitar (similar to the keys/guitar balance used by Procol Harem). Also, there’s the often-forceful vocals of its lead singer to consider. And here is where, to me, the main problem lies with the band overall. Certainly, Annisette has a unique style, but after a while her raspy voice with its powerful vibrato (especially when she’s singing in the rafters) can get somewhat annoying.
I have only this, the band’s second album, and perhaps the shrill vocals are less dominant on the debut album or subsequent releases, but I will likely never know as the singing pretty much turned me off enough to not want to investigate any further material. Additionally, The Savage Rose is also considered somewhat of a Progressive Rock band, but in truth, I heard very little on this album in the way of Prog-Rock content (except perhaps a sprinkling during the final song “A Trial in Our Native Town”). Therefore, despite the genre label appearing on many music-related websites in association with this album, lovers of Prog-Rock should definitely beware.