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Splinter: Two Man Band [Limited Edition] *

Album Notes

The third and last album Splinter released on George Harrison's Dark Horse label. Sad to say that their swan song for the label is their weakest effort. As with their first two albums, Harrison contributes a great deal (including stunning slide guitar on the wonderful "Round and Round"), as well as providing his home studio for the recording. This does not help the album very much. Bill Elliot and Robert Purvis (the actual members of Splinter, hence the title Two Man Band) harmonize perfectly throughout, and their vocals are strong, and although most of the songs are average to good, the production is far too slick. They traded their folk sound for a more adult contemporary, middle-of-the-road sound, which makes for a bland listening experience with highlights few and far between. A more stripped-down sound would have improved several of the songs in this collection. "New York City (Who Am I)" is the clear highlight with a moving tune and well constructed lyrics. The backing band is strong and form a tight sound, however, the material in which they play just is not interesting. Rod Argent is left providing rather unoriginal and boring synthesizer fills, which just adds to the yawn factor. Harrison shines in a few songs, but again, he is not given interesting material in which to explore. Fans of mid-seventies soft rock will enjoy this album, as will fans of the band. This album is not essential listening however, and somewhat of a disappoint following their first two brilliant releases. ~ Aaron Badgley


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