Music in a Doll's House - Reprise 1968
Group's original line-up included, besides the three regular Family members Roger Chapman, John Whitney and Rob King, also bassist and violinist Rick Grech and saxophonist Jim King. The line-up allowed a diverse instrumentation and the group took great advantage of this oportunity. Moreover, the songwriter-team Chapman / Whitney shines, with many fine compositions.
"Pscychedlia" is probably what you first think when you hear the opening track "The Chase"; the number has a fine melody and an instrumentation that can lead the mind towards both the Move and King Crimson.
The acoustic melodic approach is also found on the album, not least the beautiful "Mellowing Grey" and the airy "The Breeze" - both fine examples of this. "Never Like This" was written by Dave Mason and it clearly shows - sounds almost like a "Hole in My Shoe - 2". The grandiose of the opening number returns with "Me My Friend" - interesting change on lead vocals with Chapman taking care of the chorus while Jim King takes care of the verse. More pscychedelia on "Winter" - sounds almost like Creation.
The group's roots in R & B are revealed on "Hey Mr. Policeman" and "Old Songs, New Songs" - both tracks could have been Yardbirds numbers. The intro of "Peace of Mind" was later reused by David Bowie; the song is one of the major highlights of the album and a number that would become one of the group's live favorites.
At no time in this very seamless album, one senses idling, and you may easily find yourself subsequently go humming some of the fine melodic themes.
The original Family line-up released the year after another album "Family Entertainment" on which they actually managed to surpass themselves. Both albums by two great classics of the period.