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Plain and Fancy

Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Shaggy - Lessons For Beginners (1975 sweden / uk / austria, thunderous hard rock with some blistering guitar assaults and great vocals, 2020 remaster and xpanded)

Yet another album from way back that has been rereleased! LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS by SHAGGY was originally from the era of the 70s’ and has been released once again for the general public to be able to feast their ears on. This album has a different sound and a different feel throughout, and that’s not only due to the time period that the album is from. SHAGGY certainly has a unique sound that is their own and here that flaunt that well, you’ll just have to listen to it for yourself to see what it’s all about, but until then I guess you could read my words if you are into that sort of thing.

Bringing us into the album we have “Destination Nowhere”. We are brought into this track with a nice mellow guitar intro playing off some soft drums in the background. Once we get to the lyrics we are welcomed with the sounds of an era distinct voice that surely sounds like it is from the time period that it is. The lyrics are powerful, but the music is peaceful. Two things that I feel are getting harder and harder to find in today's music and this band does it all so well. In the next song “Vengeance” there is an upkick in pace and all around tone of the song, driving a sense of urgency and power throughout the rendition.

Further along we get to the rocking sounds of the title song “Lessons for Beginners” which is a well placed instrumental about halfway through the album. Riveting and intriguing guitar blaring around the sounds of a band you can tell puts a lot of work and emotion into their music. I am not typically one for instrumentals but this one here is done very well. Once past this instrumental you will eventually find yourself at the song “Nobody Cares” which has a highly nostalgic sound, almost as if it was pulled from a conglamoration of older music, but given a twist that makes it very personal and unique to the sounds of SHAGGY.

Closing out with a bang with have the song “Sunshine”. This song is fast and frantic! Guitar all over the place, drums all over the place and vocals all over the place. Giving you a song of chaos to take you away from a rather peaceful and chill album otherwise. If melody and nostalgia is what you are in for, then you should most certainly give this album a try!
by Jordan Rogers, 23 February 2021

1. Destination Nowhere - 4:41
2. Vengeance - 3:11
3. Bitch - 4:14
4. No Strings - 3:50
5. Lessons For Beginners - 2:54
6. On The Road (Janne Gustavsson, Thomas J. Ryan) - 4:33
7. Nobody Cares - 3:50
8. I Can Feel - 3:05
9. Brink Of Nowhere (Janne Gustavsson, Thomas J. Ryan) - 7:40
10.I Don't Know - 4:36
11.Sea Queen - 3:48
12.Sunshine - 2:42
13.Lessons For Beginners (Craig, Johannes Brahms) - 2:44
All songs by Jan Rognas, Thomas J. Ryan except where indicated

*Janne Gustavsson – Bass, Vocals
*Kurt Kastner – Drums, Backing Vocals
*Jan Rognas – Lead, Acoustic Guitars
*Thomas Engstrom – Lead Vocals
*Thomas J. Ryan – Organ, Backing Vocals