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Journey - Journey CD (album) cover




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3.40 | 153 ratings

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4 stars I was quite perturbed after the brilliant "Caravanserai".

Two members of my beloved "Santana" left. the band. And not the least ones! Greg Rollie, was not only the voice nor the superb Hammond organ player: he was alss a very influential song writer. As I wrote in my "Caravanserai" review, the man was good for having contributed to almost half of the songs so far in the "Santana" discography (sixteen out of thirty-seven songs to be precise). A HUGE input for sure.

This album opens on a sublime and magical song: "Of A Lifetime" displays all the fantastic skills from Neal Schon (the second "Santana" deserter, for obvious reasons). This has nothing to do with "Santana" music, but it offers so splendid melodies (especially on the guitar) that one can only be charmed with such a huge song. THE highlight IMO from this album.

This album holds a definite jazz feel. The frenetic and obsessive "Kohoutek" is not too far from the direction that "Santana" will evolve: it is only more frenetic probably. Anyway, it is the second remarkable song from this album.

I wouldn't say that the whole of this album is of the same calibre than the ones of the former band from these two great musicians (as far as I'm concerned, it is impossible actually, since I have rated the first four "Santana' works with five stars). It is quite enjoyable, with some fine organ demonstration ("Play Some Music"): an incredible rhythm, good vocals (of course) and diabolic guitar.

One of my fave from this debut album is the smooth and jazzy "Topaz". It stars brilliantly on the guitar: slow, emotional, passionate. And all of the sudden, we are confronted with the wildest jam available. This is the most "Santana-esque" piece of the whole. Not that I want to compare this work with the great reference, but still?Sublime work from Neal. But this is just common sense: a superb guitar player can only play superb guitar parts, right? Another highlight. One more.

Some prog flavours can be noticed in this work but it leans more towards some soft symphonic jazz with brilliant guitar interpretation like the fantastic " In My Lonely Feeling". Another excellent and moving track but the second half is definitely much better.

The closing number "Mystery Mountain" leaves more space to Gregg's vocal abilities. It reminds me quite a lot "I Hope You're Feeling Better" available on the great "Abraxas" album. The guitar is again passionate and soooooo great.

This is quite a good album. I am rounding this one up to four stars (but seven out of ten would be my most sincere rating).

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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