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Barclay James  Harvest - BJH Through The Eyes Of John Lees: Nexus CD (album) cover

BJH THROUGH THE EYES OF JOHN LEES: NEXUS

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

3.04 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

rupert
3 stars A timid new beginning...

"Nexus" sounds strange if you got used to where BJH had gone in the years before, it's so far from being "commercial" it had to disappoint some fans, but what it lacks in productional perfection it's making up for with musical honesty.

First of all: Woolly Wolstenholme was back, something ( not only me ) had wished for the longer BJH had gone on as a Trio, his unique musical education and harmonic versatility could not be replaced all over the years... and it was up to him to make "Nexus" a very special album for lovers of the original BJH-spirit, delivering great arrangements ( who needs an Orchestra when he's got a keyboard-player like him ? ) to old and new songs.

No, the new readings of the old aren't "better" - with one exception, "The Iron Maiden" - but always interesting... "Loving is easy" as a bluesy tune really made it live, "Titles" is beautiful ( with an additional verse )...

The absence of Les Holroyd in particular meant there were far less "poppy" moments on the album, though "Brave new world" ( with John Lees' voice sometimes disappearing in the mix... ) has got a lighter feel and the until-then-unknown oldie "Sitting upon a shelf" is a nice and simple tune.

Really great are "The devils that I keep" - dealing with severe depression offering a fine melody and a dramatic instrumental section in the middle - and, my favourite track on "Nexus", "Float"... pure genius. John Lees' strongest moment is "Star Bright", a brand of classic BJH you can enjoy best with headphones on listening carefully... and whatever promises "Nexus" didn't really keep where kept in concert afterwards... where you finally got the "return of the mellotron".

There are some weaker moments concerning production and sound ( I always think of an old tape used for re-recording but I definately don't know, some say it sounds great on superior equipment and fails to do so on average players ) and, sometimes, in the singing, but "Nexus" is a pleasant and honest affair, no more, no less.

Rupert

rupert | 3/5 |

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