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


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.23 | 62 ratings

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2 stars This should have been BJH's best album without Woolly Wolstenholme - if you only look at the quality of the songs delivered, 8 great ones out of 10, one ( "Pools of tears" ) not essantial and only one ( "The Time of our Lives" ) rather poor - instead of this it became the swansong for BJH as a trio and this wasn't only due to "poor promotion".

First of all I want to begin with what's perfect on the album: "Children of the disappeared" is a great track just the way it is, the first part of "Do you believe in dreams" couldn't be bettered, too. But as with "(Took me) So long", a nice and poppy track on which Les Holroyd's voice is sounding sick, the rest of the album always leaves me with something to complain about... Lead guitars splashing in far too loud, acoustic guitars and backingvocals sounding lifeless, quirky keyboardsounds ( that organ on the title-track's KILLING ME, and "Three weeks to despair" - what a song - was wasted that way, too ) and and and...

The most embarassing thing is that "Yesterday's Heroes", a track that should have made it as the true highlight of the album, is far too heavy-weghted to get flowing above the ice, it should have been taken into SUSPENCE - like "The Song ( they love to sing )" on EYES OF THE UNIVERSE. It was definitely obvious that the trio was running out of gas...

I don't mind a weaker album depending on a bunch of weaker songs, but if you manage to take down an album with songs as fine as those there's something wrong and change is necessary - I still think that John Lees was quite right for not wanting to go on this way any longer, and, as I thought way back then, "WOOLLY'S RETURN" was the best possible solution. But knowing about BJH-Fans who love this album as if it were as great as its songs I don't want to turn it down, have a listen, perhaps you get in touch with the arrangements and production, I never have. Rupert

rupert | 2/5 |


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