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

ELEMENTS (STEVE HOWE'S REMEDY)

Steve Howe

 

Crossover Prog

2.76 | 36 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars This album is credited not just to Steve Howe as a solo artist, but to a band called Steve Howe's Remedy. This immediately gives the impression that this is going to be radically different from the solo albums Steve has put out over the years. And this turns out to be at least partly true. Several numbers on Elements do have more of a band feel than many of Howe's regular solo albums. The most similar album in his catalogue is The Grand Scheme Of Things, which also happens to be my favourite Steve Howe album. Both Elements and The Grand Scheme Of Things have 16 tracks each, and both run for about an hour. These two albums also have a mix of vocal numbers and instrumentals and they are a bit more rock oriented compared to most of Steve's output. However, Elements has a Jazz feeling (often too jazzy for my taste) largely absent from the more rock oriented The Grand Scheme Of Things.

There are very few of the vocal numbers on Elements (probably as a result of much criticism on Howe's vocal ability). He is not a great singer, but I think he handles the vocals fully acceptably and I would like to have seen more proper songs here. The instrumental material is very good and quite varied; Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and some other styles are touched upon.

Despite all the variety, this album tend to get a bit too samey towards the end. An hour is simply too long for this material to keep the listeners attention. This album also lacks acoustic numbers, like the ones on the Natural Timbre album. Maybe if he took the best from that album and put it together with the best from this one, he could have made a much better album?

The track Hecla Lava cannot be interpreted in any other way than as a Brian May tribute. It has exactly Brian May's style and his unique use of echoed harmonies. Smoke Silver is my favourite track on Elements though, amazing guitar work!

Elements is not as good as The Grand Scheme Of Things, but still clearly one of Steve Howe's very best solo albums (the competition is not very fierce, though!) And there is a lot to enjoy here for the Steve Howe fan.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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