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Audience - The House On The Hill CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.89 | 102 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I bought the American LP on Elektra was a bit miffed to see that "Eye to Eye" wasn't on it. Also I noticed "Indian Summer" in its place, plus one song off Friend's Friend's Friend, "It Brings a Tear". Turns out "Indian Summer" was a single the band put out around this time and became a minor hit, but as usual in the UK that song never made it on LP, but did in the States, at the expense of a truly great song. At first I didn't like the album, I think it was a lot to do with Howard Werth's voice. I have since found the original UK LP on the pink scroll Charisma label, so I can get "Eye to Eye". To me, this music sounded strangely like if Van Morrison was backed up by Van der Graaf Generator, if Van Morrison had artsy ambitions, that is (since Van Morrison's music is anything but art rock, never mind prog, and his music is very much R&B based, it's no wonder he's a darling to rock critics everywhere). "Jackdaw" is without a doubt one of the great high points of the album, I especially dig those extended jazzy jams. "You're Not Smiling" I couldn't stand, and even to this day I still have trouble with it. "I Had a Dream" bears more than a passing resemblance to Moondance-era Van Morrison, the band even managed to create that "And It Stoned Me" vibe in the song, I can't help but think of that Morrison song upon hearing "I Had a Dream". "Raviole" is a largely instrumental orchestral piece with nice acoustic guitar playing. "Eye to Eye" is an incredible piece with more than a passing resemblance to Jethro Tull. They do perhaps one of the most interesting take on the blues standard "I Put a Spell on You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins') giving it a wonderful jazzy bent to it, complete with flute. Seems everyone from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown to the very mainstream Creedence Clearwater Revival wanted to take on this song, but nothing like how Audience did it. The title track is amazing! I really dig the lyrics, it sounds like how kids may feel of some creepy house on the hill and how they want to avoid it, so the song really has an ominous vibe. Also there's some great proggy passages to go with it, especially the nice flute.

It's one of those album I didn't care for at first, and while I still don't care for "You're Not Smiling", the album really grew on me. Wonderful stuff that I can highly recommend.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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