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Roy Harper - HQ [Aka: When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease] CD (album) cover


Roy Harper


Prog Folk

3.54 | 51 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars As it happens this is the first album I actually got to own by the esteemed Roy Harper and I acquired it just a few weeks ago. I have been familiar with the man for some time, though, and have been listening to "Stormcock" on and off over the last years. I have, however, never really fallen for the man, no matter how much I have wanted it. I love prog folk and especially of british origin. My difficulties as regarding Roy Harper is thus quite a mystery.

I have always had a good eye towards HQ. I don't know why. It has always been there, fascinating me, although I barely listened to it. It was not until I read some reviews, when I was about to purchase it, I finally came into owning it.

The reviewers seem strangely coherent in their various judgements, that "When an old cricketer leaves the crease" is the absolute high point of the entire album. I agree. I could not agree any more than that. As a result of me being in agreement I will concur but return later to this specific track.

The album starts off with "The game", which is a riff driven monster of a song, clocking in at 13.42. Though not all that varied, it still keeps the pace and my attention. "The game" is like a marathon of hard rock and as suh keeps me amused throughout. I will not stand for the calypso (or whatever it is) section. I have come to accept it's being but I do not have to like it. All in all a good track.

The following two songs, "The spirit lives" and "Grown ups are just silly children", I could skip any day. The latter being some sort of 50's styled rock'n'roll. I do not approve. Let's move on.

The three tracks following are good songs. "Referendum" is yet again hard rock and really good. Not overly progressive but good. "Forget me not" and "Hallucinating light" is back to the folk and pleases me in every way. Really nice tunes.

And then there it is. The prize. "When an old cricketer leaves the crease". What an amazing track. Glorious! Being a nutter for the british isles I cannot contain myself. The solemn, quiet, peaceful, reflective, slightly sad atmosphere is for me the perfect interpretation of ye olde England in the first half of the last century. I don't know whether my interpretation of the song is correct and frankly I don't care. The feeling the song gives me is truly mesmerizing. And when the brass band kicks in... I melt like butter in a frying pan. This is music to die for, music to pass the day with and music to feel. Superb!

Conclusion: HQ is a mix of styles and in the end quality. Some things are brilliant, others great and a few songs I could easily have lived without. Still, as a whole HQ offers a varied blend of progressive rock with deep roots in folk and that is by God not a bad acievement. I will award this album four stars but I do it slightly hesitant. The fact that "When an old cricketer leaves the crease" ends the album, making my whole existence shine like a thousand stars and my inner being overwhelmed by it's soothing sounds I cannot act otherwise. Four stars and hats off to (Roy) Harper.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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