Chas Cronk may not be an immediately recognized name in wider circles, but as the erstwhile bass player for the Strawbs, his prog credentials are firmly intact. Consequently, his new solo album, Liberty, demonstrates that he’s well equipped to offer songs with the same psychedelic sheen that pays heed to his day job while also evoking a personable presence all his own.
It also finds Cronk playing all the instruments with only occasional cameos from Strawbs colleagues Dave Lambert and Dave Bainbridge.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that Cronk takes on the lion share of responsibilities, Liberty boasts a rich, well textured sound with a shimmering sheen that invites a deeper listen.
The sumptuous melodies are, by turns, both sensuous and seductive, as affirmed by Cronk’s soothing vocals and hushed harmonies. Indeed, songs such as “Take My Hand,” “A Splash of Blue,” “System Overload,”and “Everybody Knows” boast a kind of aural imagery that’s ideal accompaniment for any hypnotic happenstance. Given his vast catalog as a player and sideman (a discography is conveniently shared in the CD booklet), it’s fair to say that Cronk lives up to his legacy.
Review by Lee Zimmerman for Goldmine Magazine