It's rare to find folk music that is genuinely invigorating. Too often what you get is completely uninspired and boring, which makes it a particularly difficult genre to review. Most other genres have a chance to really mess up, creating something genuinely bad that a reviewer can obsess over with excited vitriol. It's hard for a folk band to mess up so spectacularly, when all they really use is the odd acoustic guitar. The Olympic Symposium are a prime example of this. And it's somewhat unfortunate that even with extended listening I've completely failed to find anything noteworthy to talk about.

Sure it's all very nice and it's sung competently. I haven't had to turn it off because the voice was grating too much. The backing music is fine and it's slightly more than your standard acoustic guitar job, providing us with some fairly well orchestrated melodic folk. The City Won't Have Time To Fight is a perfectly good album to put on in a dinner party, or when you're trying to work, because there's nothing here that will at all grab your attention, and you'll be able to ignore it completely. I assume this wasn't the intention of the band, and the album must therefore be considered a failure.

So, The City Won't Have Time To Fight isn't bad. It's quite nice really, it's just completely bland. I can't imagine anybody getting genuinely excited about it when all it really encompasses is the absence of silence. In the end to be listened to, or to attract a loyal fan base, a band needs to do something that isn't completely stuck to the norm. The Olympic Symposium just sound like everybody else, and they aren't particularly good at it.

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