Thursday, July 22, 2004

Maddy Prior - Hooked on Winning

Maddy Prior Hooked on Winning | CD Review

Solo outing from 1978 sees Steeleye Span's Maddy Prior making some effort to distance herself from the traditional based folk rock she's become best known for. Similar to, though less compelling than, the lesser works of such artists asJudy Tzuke and Joan Armatrading or Linda Thompson's ill fated post Richard and Linda Thompson solo work.

Opening with the rather unfortunate, if not truly awful, cod-reggae of "Long Holiday" followed by the strained boogie of "Information Station", Hooked on Winning tries too hard to redefine Prior as an eclectic singer/songwriter. Song after song put her mmediately recognizable voice in unfamiliar, and occasionally unwelcome, territory where, more often than not, she fails to convince. If there was no back catalog of Steeleye Span, Silly Sisters, Carnical Band and so on, to compare it to Hooked on Winning would fare much better - a more consistant style would have helped as well, for there are tracks that fall well without the stereotypical Steeleye sound without veering into pub rock cliche - the thoughtful, Fairport-esque "Commit the Crime", the more straightforward MOR stylings of "Friends" and "Love's Not Just a Word" and the "Part of the Union" Strawbs-ey "Anthem to Failure" are the best of a mediocre lot.

While still desireable to hardcore Steeleye/Maddy fans there's little hear worth repeated listenings when compared with the huge amount of far more compelling fare Prior has amassed over the decades.