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Roger Hodgson - In the Eye of the Storm CD (album) cover

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

Roger Hodgson

 

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3.46 | 104 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 222

"In The Eye Of The Storm" is the debut studio album of the former Supertramp's member Roger Hodgson, as a solo artist. It was released after Roger Hodgson decided to leave Supertramp. That decision was taken by him during the live tour of Supertramp's seventh studio album "Famous Last Words". So, it became to be the last Supertramp's album with their classic line up. Somehow, "In The Eye Of The Storm" is seen as the Spertramp's lost album, by some of their fans.

Despite Roger Hodgson plays the vast majority of the musical instruments by himself along the all album, he also invited several musicians to collaborate with him on this album. So, the line up on the album is Roger Hodgson (lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass guitar and drums), Claire Diament (vocals), Ken Allardyce (backing vocals and harmonica), Scott Page (saxophones), Jimmy Johnson (fretless bass) and Michael Shrieve (drums).

"In The Eye Of The Storm" has seven tracks. All songs were written and arranged by Roger Hodgson. The first track "Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy)" is a long version of the minor hit "Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy"), the album's first single with about four minutes long. This long version features an extended introduction full of great sound effects like a child birth, an emotional middle part and a longer musical section full of those so typical Hodgson vocal improvisations. This is a great beginning to the album, a song very powerful and where Roger plays some amazing piano and guitar. The second track "In Jeopardy" is a song with a bluesy feeling. This was the second single from this Roger's solo album, and in reality, it didn't too much at all. This is a track with a lower tempo and leaned strongly with the piano and keyboards. Musically, it consists of a repetitive hook with a very slight variation, each time. This is another song that keeps in a very high level the general quality of the album. The third track "Lovers In The Wind" is the first ballad on the album and represents, indeed, one of the highlights of the album. I first met this song trough his DVD "Take The Long Way Home ? Live In Montreal", and I must confess that I fell deeply amazed with that song. This is a very beautiful ballad with an almost classical piano play, a warm fretless bass combined with a soft percussion and nice vocal work, making of this song a magic and dreaming ballad that is very unusual to be heard. The fourth track "Hooked On A Problem" sees the return of the typical Roger Hodgson singing, along all the track, supported by a friendly catchy chorus coupled with Scott Page's saxophone playing. This is probably the weakest song on the album. It's nice and well delivered, but isn't as great as the others. However, it represents a happy and enjoyable way to close the first side of the album, if we have the vinyl version. The fifth track "Give Me Love, Give Me Life" is, in my humble opinion, one of the two epic tracks of the album and is probably one of Roger Hodgson's most amazing, complex and most progressive musical creations. The track can be divided into several musical segments. It starts with a hopeful sounding section with vocals and piano, which soon explodes in the most energetic and powerful song on the album. This is one of the three my favourite songs on the album. The sixth track "I'm Not Afraid", as happened with "In Jeopardy", has also a bluesy feeling. It features the repetitive musical sequence that Roger Hodgson so likes to use. It starts in a dark and bombastic mood and features some great harmonica work. Then, the mood switches to a more up tempo pace and the song gets more joyful for a while. Finally, the track ends with an atmospheric vocal play and a big bang. The seventh and last track "Only Because Of You" represents the emotional progressive ballad of the album. This is definitely the great highlight of the album and one of the most progressive tracks of it too. It's also, without any doubt, the best progressive ballad of Roger Hodgson, which unfortunately Supertramp never recorded. This is a song that reminds me very strongly "Don't Leave Me Now", the best song composed by Roger Hodgson to Supertramp's seventh studio album "Famous Last Words". This song represents simply a fantastic way to conclude this great album.

Conclusion: "In The Eye Of The Storm" is simply the best Supertramp's album released outside of the band's musical catalogue. We even can say that "In The Eye Of The Storm" is the Supertramp's lost album. It's, in my humble opinion, better than Supertramp's eighth studio album "Brother Where You Bound", released in 1985, a year after this album, and is definitely better than the rest of the studio albums released by the group after Roger Hodgson departure. "In The Eye Of The Storm" is, as far I'm concerned, Roger's best studio album, to date, and represents also one of my favourite Supertramp's albums. It's perfectly at the same level of the Supertramp's albums, "Crisis? What Crisis?", "Breakfast In America" and "Famous Last Words". Who read my review of "Famous Last Words" knows I love that album. Sincerely, I think "In The Eye Of The Storm" was only supplanted by "Crime Of The Century" and "Even In The Quietest Moments?". If it wasn't because of "Hooked On A Problem", I probably would have given to this album 5 stars too.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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