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Babe Ruth - Stealin' Home CD (album) cover


Babe Ruth


Heavy Prog

2.48 | 29 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars But will they make it to the plate?

Babe Ruth's fourth album saw the departure of guitar genius Alan Shacklock, the man who founded and wrote most of the band's good material over the course of their career. This is a huge loss, but as other reviewers have commented - it's not really that noticeable on this, their first album without him. Maybe this is because he even helped write a couple of the songs on the album. This album is really not as bad as it's current rating suggests, and if you like some very blues twinged rock music than you will certainly enjoy it a lot more than others might. If you're looking for a hard rock/prog album like their debut you're likely in the wrong place, but this is probably their most consistent album since they hit it big with their stunning debut album. Keys in some places on the album are what keep this one close to their more proggy roots, but the heavy Mexican flavor that hung around on their first two albums is very long gone. As mentioned before, the band has taken a turn into hard rock town only looking back into prog for moments at a time before moving on.

We start out with the strong It'll Happen In Time which shows the band in almost top form, Haan screaming out her vocals and Marsden (Shacklock's replacement) hammering out the riffs. Good track all around, if nothing too overly inventive. Most of the tracks are like this - they play it safe, but they do it well. Stealin' Home is a strange title in that case indeed, as the band seem to be sticking firmly to what they know. No complaints there of course, as mentioned before, this is likely the band's most consistent outing in a while. Catchy straightforward rock tunes like Winner Takes All and Say No More should keep your interest if you enjoy 70s hard rock, while other tracks closer tracks closer to prog such as the very well done Elusive and the fine closer Tomorrow see more soloing and more complex parts from the band. Tomorrow in particular has some very fine moments and makes for a very fine conclusion to the album.

Other songs on the album prove to be a bit on the softer side. The Haan penned 2000 Sunsets makes for a pleasant ending to the first side and Can You Feel It is a good lo-key rock tune. Caught At The Plate makes for a nice keyboard instrumental which is an easy listen. What's ultimately rewarding about this album when put up against their 2nd and 3rd albums is that this one doesn't have any monstrosities such as Cool Jerk on it, this one is good throughout.

While the album may not have any particularly incredible moments as their debut album was ripe with, or any mini epics like the excellent Amar Caballero, this one still makes for a solid blues rock album that's likely the most consistent album from the band since their start. Things would only get worse from here with the departure of Jenny Haan, but for now this is still a good album that's more for the fans. Fans of the band's first album should check this one out (with their expectations well in check) and fans of 70s hard rock with female vocalists may find this one appealing as well.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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