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Uriah Heep - Return to Fantasy CD (album) cover

RETURN TO FANTASY

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.01 | 189 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I guess that the Heep can only do better than its previous album, right ?

I must say that the opener revives the tradition of the great openers. It was quite a while ago that they didn't propose such a good track. Good Hensley keys. That's what the Heep is all about or did I miss something ? This title track is really good : fabulous keys and bass (again. This time by Wetton). Great Byron's vocals. Do we need anything more ? Probably not. Only to get more songs of this caliber of course.

But we won't get it with "Shady Lady" nor with "Devil's Daughter". This one being just a little superior (by an inch). Good hard-rocking piece but nothing from the other world. An average Heep song. In "Beautiful Dream", one can barely recognize Byron's vocals although the band does not sound too bad. "Prima Donna" is real bad : background trumpets and awful choirs. We plunge in the nightmare here. I just hope there won't be any other of this type on this album. Press skip of course.

"Your Turn to Remember" is a dull bluesy pop song. Backing vocals (woo oh type) are rather weak. The whole being far from great but so far on this album, the Heep has not been very strong to say the least. You could easily do as I recommend for the previous track : press next. The heavy-funky-bluesy "Showdown" is on par with the other tracks : rather weak and little inspired.

One gets a bit of rest with the nice ballad "Why Did You Go". While such a track was welcomed in earlier efforts for providing some relief between violent, hard-rocking numbers, one feels happy with this number just because it is above average. But a ballad being average for the Heep is rather abnormal, isn't it ?

"A Year Or a Day" is the second great track of the album : almost as good as the title track. Acoustic, great melody and very nice tempo. Finally ! Unfortunately, two good songs do not make a great album. The crescendo building is quite interesting and the band provides a very good support (especially Hensley). But this was the last song of the original album !

The first bonus track "Shout It Out" is a heavy, hard rock track : slow tempo, strong keys (as usual) and good drumming. Melody is also nice. Good song. Almost Purple one. Byron's vocals are great. I wonder why this song did not make the original album (but that's not the first time I make this judgment with their remastered/expanded versions). It is one of the best song on this album (together with the edited version of "Return To Fantasy" which is really great)

"The Time Will Come" is not good nor bad. Still too mellowish in comparison with their earlier production.

All in all, this album does not reach the level of their first five albums. It just holds an average quality of "Wonderworld". Not bad but not great either. Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |

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