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Roger Hodgson - Hai Hai CD (album) cover


Roger Hodgson


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1.89 | 67 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
1 stars Yikes Yikes

1.5 stars tops. As Supertramp was to make a dismal album (Free As A Bird) the following year, Roger Hodgson showed them how to do it, but his former group chose to outdo him in that department and clearly won and lost at the same time. If those two albums had to be merged to make one album, this might not even have been an album of some quality, but it is so plainly clear that they (Rick and Roger) needed each other and more than 20 years later, they still haven't realized it.

Largely forgettable tunes from a man that seemed to be doing this album out of contractual reasons (it was three years since Storm), the inspiration on this album seems absent. More importantly Hodgson had by now given in and produced an album with the typical 80's sonic flaws, like that horrible drumming, courtesy of Porcaro. Haļ is an ultra-pop album in the typical 80's mode, even though when considering that atrocious decade's overall output, this album isn't faring all that bad, because much much worse had been released. In the meantime, Hodgson's songwriting is now a far cry from his 70's heydays, it's no use to look for something coming up to the heel-height of a Hide in Your Shell or a Child of Vision. Just average pop tunes that even him don't seem to really believe in, but it could be the fault of the era's mediocrity. Some tracks are even reminiscent of tad less atrocious Duran Duran, like the no-less ambiguously named Haļ Haļ. The rock-bottom of Roger's career must be that awful Land Ho, again a try at these wanker melodies he's given us to stuff ourselves with.

By the end of the album (if you ever manage to reach it), you'll no doubt be suffering of ear damage, and in case your eardrums survived the torture, no doubt you sanity hasn't. Indeed, if there were still some good tracks on the Eye of The Storm, in this one, you can scrape up and come up with next to nothing interesting from the proghead's point of view. But in this second round matchup, when both factions came out with half-baked efforts, Roger's seems a tad less awful, and if one day, he was to re-record the album without those 80's crap flaws, no wonder Haļ would get better recognition. In the meantime, Roger evened the score, the damage was now done, but at least Rick's shadow was gone by now.

Sean Trane | 1/5 |


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