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Glass Hammer - Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted CD (album) cover

THREE CHEERS FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED

Glass Hammer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.03 | 84 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Aim for a different target group. Fail miserably

Glass Hammer's tenth album, Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted is a rather agressive departure from their traditional sound, characterized by lengthy symphonic pieces highly inspired by Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Kansas with numerous vocalists, complex instrumentation and normally upbeat and somewhat optimistic feeling, to a simpler, more band driven and darker sound, inspired by the 60's psychedelic and barroque pop bands (in the like of bands such as late Beach Boys, The Zombies and The Beatles), electronic music and striaght to the point rock'n'roll.

The vocal department was also reduced considerably, with singer Susie Bogdanowicz being in the charge of singing duties for most fo the album, unlike previous releases, where, as mentioned before, a considerable number of people would partake the singuing duties. The lyrics also treat of more mundane themes, specially when compared with every other album released by Glass Hammer.

Accoding to the band (i.e. Fred Schendel and Steve Babb), Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted was supposed to both show a different side of their music and musical influences and to try and reach a different audience from the ones that followed the band up untill then. The result was absolutely disastrous. Not only they failed to reach a different group from what they are used to, but the album's reception was extremely apathic and cold by the band's following, what is no surprise when you realise that this kind of audience is incredibly small and specialized, for the lack of a better word.

Personally, I do not believe this is actually a bad release. Yes, it is very different from the traditional Glass Hammer sound, but it evokes a style of music that is getting increasingly forgotten and hidden in the shelves of time, despite being highly enjoyable, which is the late 60's pop music, that eventually helped with the creation of progressive rock itself. Procol Harum, for example, was part of that very style of music in their earliest albums, as was Moody Blues after they reboot with Days of Future Past.

I must say that, however my positive opinion today, this was not what I was expecting when I got the album. The strange mix of 60's rock with electronic music the band delivers in their 2009 studio album really disgusted me in initial listenings, but time proved that this album is actually a grower. The simple and somewhat plain tunes proved to only improve over time.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Chages of heart proved to painful in the music industry. This was no exception: changing from a classic and epic progressive rock sound to a simpler, darker and more accessible sound proved to be traumatic for Glass Hammer, otherwise they would not release a return to form album so fast.

Despite the relentless criticism directed at Three Cheers for the Broken-Hearted simply due to the change of direction the band took, I find that most of them fall short of either understanding or openness to deal with such changes. Different does not equals bad or worse by deafult.

CCVP | 4/5 |

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