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Lighthouse - One Fine Morning CD (album) cover

ONE FINE MORNING

Lighthouse

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.59 | 23 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm not sure which cover is the original one, but the Prog Temple reissue CD I have sports a Roger Dean (like?) creation both on the front and back. A very phallic protrosion juts skyward with several oriffices in the top. In a way, I think the cover here on PA suits the music better.

This is Lighthouse's fourth studio album and it features new lead vocalist Bob McBride as well as a leaner line-up, down to 11 members. The initial concept for Lighthouse was a rock band that included both brass and strings, and the roster first included 13 names. By this album, only seven of the original members remained, but the music here would make this album the band's most succesful, even scoring them a #24 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. with the title track, which also reached #2 in Canada.

Comparisons to Blood, Sweat and Tears are easy to make, but I'm not so familiar with that band's music and so I feel there are more similarities to Chicago, mostly because the brass gets featured on every song while the strings (violin, viola, and cello) don't seem to appear very often. Either that or they are lost in the mix. Because of the upbeat and grooving and swinging nature of the a few of the songs, I can't help but think about the soundtrack to the movie version of "Hair". In one song I can picture everyone with the arms outstretched and palms to the sky, singing in unison while their bell-bottoms sway.

The album has a decent blend of music with upbeat, brass-blasted songs to slower, mellower tunes where the strings crop up. It's a period piece for sure sounding very 1971, which you can hear in songs like "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "Show Me the Way" as well as the title track. I'll admit that this is not the kind of album I will usually buy; however in my quest to discover Canadian prog of the seventies, it was inevitable that Lighthouse would have to come into my CD collection. Not that this is a solid work of progressive rock. By and large, this is an album of three to four-minute songs in standard format. One may wonder what this band could have achieved had they done something like Uriah Heep's "Salisbury". Instead the songs are pretty normal for 1971, I guess, except that there are so many instruments played in the one band. I think that the guitars and drums are used mostly for rhythm and piano for colour while brass is for punch and strings for that gentle touch when needed. The vocals have that powerful white soul holler though often a chorus of voices sings the refrain and even lines in the verses.

It's more or less an album like what you'd expect from such a large band and it is well-put together. Punchy songs are followed by more mellower pieces and mellow songs are followed by something more uplifting. The finale "Lullaby" is a beautful number with acoustic guitar, flute and strings and the brass comes in for some emotive lines delivered nobly and wonderfully by the trumpet. It's a song I had to let play to the end tonight when I arrived at my house after walking home from the train station, so enchanting was the music.

Well, I'm not likely to rush out and order another Lighthouse album any time soon, but giving this one my full attention in preparation for the review, I think I came to appreciate it more. Not overly progressive but active music with a lot of great sounds.

FragileKings | 3/5 |

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