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Steve Howe - Elements (Steve Howe's Remedy) CD (album) cover

ELEMENTS (STEVE HOWE'S REMEDY)

Steve Howe

 

Crossover Prog

2.75 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Howe goes back to his roots.

When one thinks Steve Howe they must immediately think of his parent band, Yes, and of course, the incredibly crisp style of guitar the man plays oh so well. Reading the liner notes Howe notes that he wanted to go back with this album and play some great jazz and blues inspired tracks, and that's just what he did. We all know the man as a virtuoso of the instrument he plays so well and this is a great showcase of his talents.

The album is home to a group of great songs and a group of fairly forgettable ones. The album isn't purely instrumental either, although we know that Mr. Howe is not the most wonderful vocalist ever to be put on tape. ACROSS THE COBBLESTONE is one such track, and it's very Yes-esque. Howe's vocals are not the best, but they still add to the song, giving it a nice feel. The playing on this track is, as to be expected, excellent and it's one of the album's standouts. WHERE I BELONG and LOAD OFF MY MIND are the other two tracks given voice, and they're both god songs, though nether really compares to the opener. However, that said, they're still enjoyable tracks that show Howe making the best of his vocal talents.

Among the instrumentals there's a mixed bag. All the songs are good, but only a few of them are really great tracks that fly of the cd and hit you in the face making you think "whoa! Mr. Howe, you're a genius!" WESTWINDS is one such excellent track. It starts with a calm sax and finally starts in with Howe's swingy jazz riffs that carry you around and mix with some great sax bits until the song is over. CHARIOT OF GOLD is another jazzy track mixed with sax that really lets Steve shine. it's too bad, though that the rest of the tracks aren't all like these ones.

If you've ever lent your ear to Joe Satriani then some of the styles presented here will sound familiar. Not to say that Howe is ripping anyone off, but they do have a similar playing style, so Satch fans should enjoy this outting. This shows especially in tracks like BEE STING, SMOKE SILVER (one excellent track), and RISING SUN (this one jazzier than Satch would play).

As stated before its the jazz inspired tracks that really make this album, there are a lot of more bluesy tracks, unfortunately they sometimes come off as sounding more country. Of course, theres also a couple of tracks that are very short and don't seem to do anywhere, but the two longer tracks are quite good.

So all in all Mr. Howe gets a 3 for this album. It's definitely good, maybe a bit too long, but there's a lot of good music on here. Good for any big Yes or Howe fans, but really bad for anyone who really hates Jazz or blues tunes. It's definitely not your typical rock or prog album, but worth listening to. Good album!

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |

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