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GTR - GTR CD (album) cover




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2.27 | 120 ratings

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5 stars Quite obviously I am in the less than minority here in my opinion, and truth be told on first hearing back in the 80s I saw GTR as a bunch of opportunistic AOR hopefuls trying to cash in on Asia's success. That said, becoming a huge fan of Max Bacon's voice years later I picked this up and it quickly became one of my most favourite albums. What you have to understand is that what occured on this album is natural and not forced, not like what Genesis and Mike And The Mechanics (who were actually OK in my opinion) were doing. "When The Heart Rules The Mind" is somewhere between epic AOR and epic Pomp Prog rock with soaring vocals, layers of guitars, and complex changes of rhythm, chord, and melody. Max Bacon's high pitched wailing vocals are fantastic throughout this album and Steve Howe plays some excellent riffs and solos. Hackett is as bad as he's always been, but he doesn't ruin the album. When listening to GTR the most outstanding tracks are the ones with the shortest solos such as "Here I Wait" and the ones where they get more adventurous like "Imagining." I love every track here, even Hackett's solo piece after waves of nothing develops into some good ideas. The rhythm section, both guitarists, and Bacon made a record that is to my mind what Asia should have been more like- harder, heavier, more biting, louder. The first two Asia records with Steve Howe are great, but after Steve Howe left and Asia fell into oblivion what else was there for Steve Howe to do but to form a band that would surpass Asia's descent into dogerrel with "Astra?" I prefer GTR to any post Howe Asia album, and anything Genesis recorded after Duke. You have to have an open mind and you have to like shrill, high pitched vocals in the vein of SHY and Max Bacon's other 80s masterwork Bronz, if you have both those qualities you should appreciate this album. No, there is none of the groundbreaking work of early 70s Yes or Genesis here, but it makes a welcome change into prog rock than Genesis's change into throw-in-the-gutter pop trash. Bacon sounds forceful and commanding, by turns smooth and melodramatic throughout, and Steve Howe plays some of his best guitar since the heydey of Yes here, no joke. GTR is one of my favourite albums, and although it may not be one of yours, it remains one of mine. Enough said.
| 5/5 |


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