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Uriah Heep - Look at Yourself CD (album) cover

LOOK AT YOURSELF

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

4.09 | 473 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Part of what makes this album so unbearable for me is the screeching, and the lead singer employs way too much vibrato. The organist (and the lead guitarist, to a lesser extent) keeps this album from hitting rock bottom for me. That said, I fail to see why it is a cornerstone of heavy progressive rock music.

"Look at Yourself" The title track is also the first. It mixes simple chord progressions, a bouncy rhythm, and interesting guitar licks. There's a lot of interesting musicianship in the middle, not the least of which is the organ, which will be a reliable staple throughout the album. The vocals during the instrumental section are annoying (annoying vocals also being a staple of the album), and the guitar part does not fail to please. The build of the final minute relies on a gradual rise in tempo until the band is playing at a frantic pace.

"I Wanna Be Free" With heavy blasts of chords from an electric guitar, this one reminds me of The Who, but suddenly gives way to two vocals over a quiet organ. There's a some fair lead guitar work halfway in, but otherwise, this is a fairly forgettable song. The screeching vocals competing with the lead guitar toward the end are irritating if anything.

"July Morning" Pleasant organ begins the third track just before the bass, drums, and some fine guitar playing enter. Subtle acoustic guitar exists during the first part of the verses, but the sound is fuller during the second part. The organ solo is enjoyable, maintaining a good tone and a simple structure. The polyphonic interplay of instruments during the second half is intriguing, although not quite as sophisticated as that of the heavier symphonic acts like Kansas. The wild electronic noises during the last two minutes are too loud, all over the place, and downright irritating- the track should have faded out well before that.

"Tears in My Eyes" A rocker with sloppy slide guitar at first and a fairly simple but catchy rhythm at first, but the more atmospheric section with acoustic guitar is far superior, even if the vocals and the lead instrument that comes in later are completely annoying. The slide guitar solo is refreshing and better than what was performed in the very beginning.

"Shadows of Grief" Creative organ work is almost marred by silly-sounding voices. Guitar through a wah pedal played over a basic chord progression, interrupted by drums occasionally, dominates the middle section. For once, the choir-like vocals are not irksome, but do lend to the overall "shadowy" atmosphere (even though I still care not for the shrieking). More organ work follows, and it's quite exceptional. There's some stimulating experimentation towards the end until the absolutely ridiculous vocals ruin what would have been a perfectly great ending.

"What Should Be Done" This soft piano-based song has the organ in the backdrop and sounds a lot like Three Dog Night. It's a fairly conventional song.

"Love Machine" Moving briefly back into the realm of progressive rock, Uriah Heep's organist experiments with the sound a bit. After that, it's more of a blues-rock song, with a George Thorogood sound, which is to say, plenty of slide guitar. The ending returns to some more experimental business.

Epignosis | 2/5 |

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