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Barclay James  Harvest - Once Again CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 232 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "There's a mockingbird, singing songs in the tree"

"Once again" is the favourite of many BJH fans, due in no small part to the inclusion of two of their best ever songs, "She said", and "Mocking bird". Both are heavily orchestrated, and stately in pace.

"She said" is a powerful story of unrequited love. It is deceptively simple in structure, being vaguely reminiscent of the Moody Blues "Isn't life strange". The pop like two verse, three chorus basis is accompanied by infectious instrumental passages, and a haunting flute solo. "Mocking bird" too has a simple basis, but is developed into a truly awesome piece of prog. The symphonic interlude of "1812 overture" stature which occupies the core part of the piece is surrounded by a simple melody, and repetitive lyrics. This is BJH at their absolute zenith. In many ways, these two tracks established the BJH "sound".

Other standout tracks on the album are "Song for Dying" and "Happy old world". These are simpler art rock songs, the former moving from almost whispered verses to loud acidic choruses, John Lees voice soaring majestically over Woolstenholme's symphonic keyboards.

As a whole, the album lacks the up tempo numbers of the first album, making it more even, but less diverse. The only real weak spot is "Ball and chain", which for me is dull and over long.

In all though, a very good soft prog album.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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