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Triumph - Just A Game CD (album) cover

JUST A GAME

Triumph

 

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2.67 | 46 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Three good songs

In my defense of Triumph as a great live band I mentioned the fact that they made some pretty mediocre studio albums. This is one. The problem with Triumph in my opinion is that no one had the apricots to tell Gil to zip it and just worry about the drums. While Gil is a decent drummer and backing vocalist who compliments Emmett's vocals well, the band suffers from the tracks he leads. I don't know how the writing arrangements break down, but I do know that the "Rik vocal songs" are the good ones generally, while the "Gil vocal songs" are usually the ultra predictable, painful bar room blues hard rockers you could hear at the corner pub. Nothing wrong with that if you like it, but I don't. It certainly hurt this band's studio output overall I would argue.

"Just a Game" delivered one huge hit (Lay It on the Line) which brought the band a ton of radio airplay but beyond that it's slim pickins'. Side 2 had two decent tracks that sound very much like some of Tommy Shaw's early contributions to Styx (Just a Game, Hold On). I would describe them as dreamy, melodic 70s rock with nice use of acoustic guitars for flavor and beautiful lead playing. Put these three fine tracks with the short acoustic Fantasy Serenade solo and you have a pretty good half album. But the other half ranges from brutal to mediocre. I think there is still enough good stuff here for *fans* of the band to add this to their collection, but I can't quite call it a "good" album overall. But if you like a song like "American Girls" (which you can preview on YT), then by all means dive in. If you like that stuff there's a good chance you'll like this album more than I.

Finnforest | 2/5 |

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