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GTR - GTR CD (album) cover




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2.32 | 131 ratings

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2 stars I don't know what I was thinking back in 1986 when I purchased GTR's self-titled debut (and fortunately only studio release). It must have been that one song they kept playing on the radio, When the Heart Rules the Mind. I don't know what it was about that song. Maybe the catchy hooks? It couldn't have been the vocals, could it?

Now all these years later, I find that this album hasn't aged well at all. Instead of a fine wine, what we have here is a chunk of moldy cheese. In other words, it's not just a cheesy album, it's also pretty bad. GTR were known for their two guitarists, Steve Howe and Steve Hackett. What isn't widely known is that instead of using keyboards, they used those awful guitar-based synthesizers. This basically meant that the vibrations of their guitar strings were fed into a synthesizer trigger pickup which sent MIDI signals to a synthesizer. I've never been fond of the sounds these produced often causing me much irritation.

The other problem with this album is that once you get past the first track, their lone top 40 hit, When the Heart Rules the Mind, the rest of the album is quite a disappointment containing mostly arena rock-styled mediocrity. It almost sounds like a poor man's Asia, and maybe that's because Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes produced this album. I find it unbelievable that these two highly acclaimed guitarists made this stuff. It must have been a sign of the times and a clear indication of what was wrong with music in the 1980s.

GTR disbanded in 1987. And that's pretty much it.

I feel inclined to give this one star because for me it is a difficult listen. But I know there are a lot of fans out there for these two guitarists, and being fans, they'll probably want this. Everyone else should probably avoid. Two stars.

progaardvark | 2/5 |


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