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Barclay James  Harvest - Gone To Earth CD (album) cover

GONE TO EARTH

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

3.33 | 129 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars By the time this album was released, you could tell that the BJH sound had already been affirmed and reaffirmed in an abundantly clear manner. So there's nothing new here. But "Gone to Earth" is nothing to be dismissed or overlooked, since it comprises some undisputed classics of the BJH repertoire, and the band's best qualities are still there, not worn out yet. 'Hymn' is precisely a hymn, solemn as any other hymn, but not based on church organs or over-impressive orchestrations and chorales, but Lee's acoustic 12-string guitar, elegantly supported by Wolstenholme's ethereal synth layers and countermelodies. The final result is quite emotional, indeed, but mostly it feels intimate and serene, more like an act of contemplation than a prayer of adoration. This same spirit is developed in 'Poor Man's Moody Blues', which is mainly Lee's personal reconstruction of The Moody Blues' classic 'Nights in White Satin': Lee's opus is certainly beautiful, but we all must admit - even the most fervent BJH fan - that Justin Hayward has (indirectly) played a major role regarding this song's artistic merits. Other featured highlight in this album are: Wolstenholme's 'Sea of Tranquility', which shows the eerie side of BJH in full splendour; Holroyd's 'Spirit on the Water', a very nice slow number, firmly rooted in the British pop- rock tradition, but wisely taken to an art rock level thanks to Wolstenholme's keyboard parts and the clever use of simplicity in the guitar riffs; and the closure 'Taking Me Higher' - also penned by Holroyd -, the vocals and the instrumentation (floating keyboards, delicate guitar arpeggios) flow effortlessly through an air of somber melancholy. The remaining pieces are fun, nothing special, at times including some attractive moments: here you'll find plain mid-tempo rockers with a slight prog arrangement ('Friend of Mine', 'Leper's Song'), a rocker with a something like a R'n'B feel in it ('Hard Hearted Woman'), and a first-slow-then- a-bit-rockier number ('Love is Like a Violin'). Although this one doesn't impress me as much as their 1974's 'Everyone is Everybody Else', this is a very good album, mainly because it contains a considerable amount of beautiful musical ideas.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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