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Bread, Love and Dreams ()

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The debut album by this two-woman, one-man trio presented contemporary British folk with the slightest of pop and folk-rock edges. The most prominent pop embroidery was found in the occasional sweeping, haunting string arrangements; there were also dabs of organ, harp, and percussion here and there. It was pretty but somewhat bland music on the border of late-'60s British folk-rock, the songs faintly echoing those of U.K. peers such as Donovan and Bert Jansch. Bread, Love and Dreams had a slightly melancholy air, the songs often gliding over themes of regret, sadness, nostalgia, and whimsical storytelling, though usually in a pretty upbeat fashion. The female vocals were more ethereal and winsome than David McNiven's more routine Donovan-Jansch-ish tone; "Artificial Light," one of the strongest numbers, even got a little reminiscent of Mary Hopkin's folk-poppiest moods. Also strong was "Mirrors," a dramatic mini-epic with light orchestration and what almost amount to some pop hooks, though it's not quite easy to determine what McNiven's going on about, even if he delivered it like a message of grave import. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi Hide synopsis

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