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Roy Harper - The Dream Society CD (album) cover


Roy Harper


Prog Folk

2.79 | 10 ratings

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2 stars The last of my reviews of later day Roy Harper albums, The Dream Society (1998) seems like Roy's response to his previous album Death or Glory. However, unlike that work, The Dream Society is a rambling album of disconnected themes and topics, while being true to Harper's persona, doesn't connect well with this listener. The first two songs are Harper singing about how much he wants to return to love. Noble, but trite in both lyrics and melody. The third song Muriel is an ode to Harper's mother who passed away when he was quite young. It starts off as a parody of the old folk song The Cotton Fields Back Home before shifting gears into a slow tempo tome about his late mother. The song's transformation is awkward to me in more ways than one. Harper than goes through a suite of pure rock songs that are good in themselves but are hardly prog and could have used the talents of his buddies Page or Gilmour to bolster them. The final song on the album, These Fifty Years, is a ponderous folk prog song that eschews melody in favor of Roy's overlong verbiage. The inclusion of prog god Ian Anderson on flute does little to improve it. The sound quality of the album is excellent but it's difficult for me to recommend this album to anyone but completists. If it's available, I would recommend Roy's 1990 album Once over The Dream Society as it contains some of Roy's most focused, if somewhat restrained, works produced in the 90's.
SteveG | 2/5 |


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