Meic Stevens remains one of the best-kept secrets of psychedelic folk-rock, but fortunately those tides are changing. In the past few years, Sunbeam Records has made great leaps towards re-releasing a lot of his seminal ‘70s work, so far resulting in two extraordinary EP compilations that—despite a majority of the songs being sung entirely in Welsh—remain as compelling as any disc released by Stevens’ American counterparts.
With 1972’s Gwymon (Welsh for “seaweed”), Stevens takes a more roots-based acoustic approach, which—unfortunately—hinders his eclectic tendencies. Songs like “O Mor Lan Yr Oedd Y Dwr (O How Clear Was the Water)” and “Mynd I Weld Y Byd (Off to See the World)” run closer towards MOR acoustic rocking than any of his previous recordings, somewhat deadening Stevens’ impact both musically and vocally. There are some great songs to be sure, but the wide-eyed energy from his earlier work is somewhat absent this time out.