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Steve Howe - Beginnings CD (album) cover

BEGINNINGS

Steve Howe

 

Crossover Prog

2.62 | 122 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
2 stars After setting the world on fire when he joined Yes in 1970, STEVE HOWE spent the first half of the 70s pumping out one progressive rock masterpiece after another while touring the world in support of the band's albums. By 1975, the members reached the point where they required a much needed break from one another so they took some time off to record solo albums. To appease their record company the compilation "Yesterdays" was released and then they all went off to do their own things. Meanwhile members like STEVE HOWE were conjuring up their own musical ideas and then he released his very first album which is appropriately titled BEGINNINGS. Unlike other Yes members like Chris Squire who would only release one solo album, HOWE would continue to release many new creations tucked between Yes albums.

While officially a solo album, BEGINNINGS contains a whole army of supporting musicians including contributions from other Yes members. Both Alan White and Bill Bruford offer drum contributions. Patrick Moraz helps out on Moogs, Mellotrons and general keys and then there are quite a few others who are on board contributing bass, flute, sax, violin, viola, cello, piccolo, oboe and bassoon thus offering an instrumental heavy feel for a mere solo album, but this is a solo album by one of the greatest prog bands in history, so this is something special, right?

Well, not really. This is one i've tried to like for quite some time and no matter how much i try to reconnect with BEGINNINGS i'm simply put off for one glaring reason: STEVE HOWE is an awful vocalist. With all the extra hands on board in the musical department, HOWE somehow felt it appropriate to handle all the vocals himself and if you haven't heard him sing before, let me just politely say that he is no Jon Anderson. In fact, he's embarrassingly awful! It is quite the fate of the gods that a man can be so brilliant on his respective instrument of choice but have absolutely zero talent in other musical arenas.

One of the reasons this one is so bad is simply because the music is so good. Where no vocals mar the performances such as on the stunning instrumentals "The Nature Of The Sea" or "Ram" it doesn't get any better with performances matching Howe's best of the best bringing "The Clap" to mind. The musicians work together in tandem to offer some serious prog workouts for the most part and all is fine until Mr HOWE opens up his big fat mouth and utters the vocal equivalent to fingernails running down a chalk board in the middle of a beautiful symphony. While the music itself is mostly quite divine, some tracks like "Lost Symphony" are a little too sleepy (and long) and qualify as pure classical music rather than rock but do display the ease that HOWE fluidly delivers with his brilliant classical guitar playing. When the album shines it shines bright. Unfortunately those moments are few and far between. This is one for only the most hardcore of fans but i keep it around for the two aforementioned instrumental tracks that continue to blow me away.

siLLy puPPy | 2/5 |

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