- Album name: The low spark of high-heeled boys
- Group name: Traffic
- Year: 1971
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Island Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Distinguishing characteristics: “G” written on top left of album, indicating that my father owned this record
- Buy it:
Level of familiarity before listening
I’ve heard of Traffic, but don’t know any of their music.
What I expected
There’s basically nothing I can tell about what the music will be like from the exterior of the album. That’s not a good sign, right?
What it was actually like
Parts of this record sounded like folk, such as Hidden Treasure. Other parts sounded like rock, such as Many a Mile to Freedom. Other parts sounded more jazzy, like The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys. And other parts were a bit more funk, like Light up or Leave Me Alone and Rock & Roll Stew.
The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys had saxophone, and what did I write recently about saxophone?
I want to stress that rock musicians really need to avoid using saxophone in their music. If you’re Charlie Parker, I want to hear your saxophone part, but in rock I just don’t think there’s a lot of use for it.
Multiple songs also had flute: Hidden Treasure, Many a Mile to Freedom, Rainmaker. And when I was critiquing saxophone a few weeks ago, I also had this to say about flute:
I’m maybe slightly more forgiving of flute being used in rock music, if only because it’s so uncommon, but there’s a simple standard that I would apply: are you Jethro Tull? Are you better than Jethro Tull, or engaged in a serious attempt to do something that Jethro Tull hasn’t done or can’t do? If you answer no to all of those questions, then you probably should leave the flute out of your rock song.
There was not a single song on this record that I found enjoyable or interesting, and I can’t imagine myself ever wanting to listen to it again.
2/5: bad, but I was able to listen to the whole thing