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Uriah Heep - Sonic Origami CD (album) cover

SONIC ORIGAMI

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.28 | 120 ratings

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Jimsey
3 stars Seeing as we have a new Heep release on the way, I just saw the band live this summer (great show, they can still do it) and I simply have nothing to do this saturday morning, I thought it would be appropriate to review this most recent UH album.

I'll go track by track for once...

Between Two Worlds

This opening track is probably my favorite off this record and I would say it's one of the best Heep songs in the last couple of decades. Everything clicks and the 6+ minute length doesn't bother at all. If you only check one song off this record, make it this one. (the song works GREAT live as well!)

I Hear Voices

Here the band takes a more bluesy stadium rock approach. And it works. The chorus still has that UH feel to it but the sound in general is modern. Another homerun, dare I say?

Perfect Little Heart

And the record keeps moving to a more mainstream rock direction. This one has a very 80's-90's rock feel. Think Michael J. Fox, if that makes any sense. The organ is still there though. Not bad, happy rock'n'roll.

Heartless Land

Beautiful acoustically driven song. Very moody, yet light. There is something very 80's in the drums and organ but it's not very distracting. Alrighty.

Only The Young

The chorus works really well in this one and is what drives the song. The lyrics (and vocals in general) are quite brilliant here. There's a part in the middle that I'm not too crazy about but in general, it's a good song. There is also some pretty badass soloing here. Very good.

In The Moment

Another one with a pretty good chorus. The song is a bit on the blues rock side but there is once again that epic-ish Heep feel. Bernie Shaw really shines on these last two songs, what an underrated talent (pretty much like today's Heep in general).

Question

The song grabs your attention right from the start. Acoustic and moody again. Very beautiful and grabbing vocals. 'Deep' stuff. Everything works real well.

Change

What a fitting name as we fade from the previous song straight into this one. Quite a working guitar pattern here. Vocal melody works well and the whole song has this rocking ethereal feel. Nice chorus too. Bloody brilliant stuff here.

Shelter From The Rain

Slow point but not a low point. Continuing somewhat on that ethereal feel from the last song with a more bluesy touch. Reminds me of some popular modern band but I can't quite put my finger on it. Some pretty good soloing again in this one. There's actually a few shades of Santana in there as well. Very good but may seem long-winded to some.

Everything In Life

Time to speed it up again. A bit in the vein of "Easy Livin'". First time the bass line makes me take notice on this record. Once again great guitar work here, Mick Box should get more appreciation.

Across The Miles

The song starts interestingly enough but then it turns into something out of Phil Collins' solo catalog. This is way too commercial and doesn't do much for me. It's not bad but it's so far away from my tastes, definitely the weakest track in my mind.

Feels Like

Opens with an ominous feel then starts rocking like Hell. Once again we're on the bluesy side of things. Has got a lot to offer but I feel they could have gone even deeper into the blues, letting go of the shackles of the band's past and name. The end with the percussion is a nice touch.

The Golden Palace

Longest song and the most ambitious one. The beginning makes me think of the 'Puppet Master' movies and is very well done. Bernie Shaw is delivering again and the organ creates the perfect mood. The chorus is on the lighter side of things, while the song is more of the darker kind. In the middle, the song explores some more exciting grounds but soon returns to the same. Not bad but seems to promising more than it delivers.

Sweet Pretender (Bonus Track)

For a bonus track, this is quite memorable and in my opinion, one of the album's highlights. Very good song with a strong chorus. The album started with a bang and ends with one as well.

Overall: A lot of people seem to think that when a band hasn't had a hit single or record in years, they're has beens. But that's not the case. Heep had it's peak years long ago but they still deliver on record and especially live. Of course if you go straight from the early Heep classics to this, it can be a shock.

Sonic Origami has got a lot of good qualities to it but clocking in at 75:33, I have to think it would have done good to make it a more compact package. Maybe they thought a full disc's worth of Heep would be good enough for the next decade. Nonetheless, while we have a steady collection of good songs here, there are only a few that really stick in your head. There is definitely a lot of commercial rock here but the record isn't of commercial length.

In conclusion, this is a good album but it can be a tiring one.

Jimsey | 3/5 |

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