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Barclay James  Harvest - BJH Through The Eyes Of John Lees: Nexus CD (album) cover

BJH THROUGH THE EYES OF JOHN LEES: NEXUS

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

3.04 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars HALF AN ALBUM FOR HALF A BAND

So, here we go for a new (?) BJH album. It is with a certain enthusiasm from the fans that Woolly gets back on board. Did it mean a return to the roots ? At least, the return took place in the sense that several tracks are new versions of old songs (six in total, some faithful, some different). All these re-works are pleasant although "Titles" is a bit over-extended.

If I except "Caught In The Light" ('93), none of BJH albums could really pleased me after "XII" released in ...1978. Actually, the global flavour of this album is close to "Caught...". Thanks to the rework of existing songs, to be honest.

Very few highlights as far as new material is concerned. "Festival ! is an average song, the title "Hors D'Oeuvre" speaks for itself. Less than a minute of useless music. The march type "Sitting Upon A Shelf" is harmonious but its tempo is pretty boring. "The Devils That I Keep" is a bit better, but it reminds me the Marillion Mark II mood (if you see what I mean : zzzzzzzzzzz).

The melody for "Float" is nice and gentle. My fave new track on this album. As melancholic as BJH could be. Good work from Woolly on the keyboards. "Star Bright" is also a very quiet song. Again, melancholic and poignant. But lyrics are really poor.

IMO, "Mocking Bird" is the best song of the whole. But it has been featured quite extensively in live albums so, was it really necessary to add another version ? Maybe that it was to revive the interest of old fans into a band which had lost most of them by then. Actually, it would have been wiser to create an album with pure reworks when I hear the quality of these here as well as the little inspired new songs.

Three stars (but this is an upgrated rating). Five out of ten is closer to what it should be. This rating is reached thanks to the old material (even if "The Iron Maiden" and "Brave New World" are not great (but the originals weren't either, so). The dreadful "Loving Is Easy" even sounds OK here (at least the awful AOR-ish, disco-beat style has been softened).

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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