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Argent - In Deep CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.44 | 84 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars After the commercial success of their ATN album (mostly though the Hold Your Head Up single), Argent had to confirm with the fourth and I have suspected for decades that the album's title was probably referring to their situation with regards as to their record company's expectations. Rest assured that if Rod Argent had done most of the work up to now, this album was to be Ballard's moment. Indeed, In Deep (you just knew you'd get that one thrown in your face, didn't ya? ;-) was a much more sensible album especially regarding their (limited) prog credentials and their slow maturity. Graced with an artwork that leaves little doubt as to how deep, this album is the group nearing its apex.

Starting out on another huge hit (this time written by Ballard), God Gave RnR To You is everything you'd expect from its title: pure commercialism and aimed at the charts. Not only was the opening salvo overtly obvious, but Ballard follows it up with the two-part It's Only Money, giving us a splendid and unashamed message. Only the side 1 closer Losing Hold is really pointing to a deeper meaning, with its darker ambiance, but remaining little more than a ballad.

The flipside does resemble a bit this predecessor in that Be Glad only has the organ/piano middle section to raise your eyebrows (but ultimately fail to keep them raised as he's obviously trying to be a would-be Emerson), while the Christmas tune is clearly another shameless call to Mercury (the god of commerce ;-). Upon this bleak outlook, only one sunray on this deep pool of cess they're dipping their toes in: Candle On The River! This track is probably their better studio track with lyrics expressing thoughts on over-population, great Hammond and guitar works over a great and inspired rhythm.

Obviously this overtly commercial album is their best-remembered, but if you're a demanding proghead, I'd not call it anywhere close to essential in your prog collection. While it has its share of pleasant moments (even in the commercial bits), I'd rather aim the casual discoverer to their next album.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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