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Barclay James  Harvest - River Of Dreams CD (album) cover

RIVER OF DREAMS

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

2.19 | 44 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars About half this album, mostly in the early going, represents a relative return to form for BJH, at least to the level of the early 80s, while the other half picks up where "Caught in the Light" left off, which is nowhere special.

The energy level and the simple folk influence prominent in earlier BJH returns on "River of Dreams" and "Back in the Game". Lyrically it's less adventurous than in younger days, preferring to tread the well trodden path of reflection and introspection, but Lees' leads in "Back in the Game" are more spirited, while the vocal harmonies recall the glory days of "Octoberon". It's true that on "Do you believe in Dreams" this tendency goes as far as CSN or America, but those aren't bad reference points for aging artists in any rock genre. Both Lees and Holroyd make major contributions, with Lees' piano ballad "Children of the Disappeared" and the uptempo "Mr E" being near original idea for the group long after we might have expected such a push.

Gone are the days of BJH concept albums in which tracks were sequenced with love and care, such that I can only evaluate this final "group" effort as a collection of songs, some quite good, others rather bland. At just above 2.5 stars, this one gets rounded up as a tribute to an English institution that was more of a force behind the currents of progressive rock (and indeed rock in general) than its victim. Not bad for an also-ran.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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