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Barclay James  Harvest - Caught In The Light CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.57 | 73 ratings

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Theo Verstrael
3 stars This album has puzzled me from the start. I was indeed delighted that the Barclays had decided to record another album and I was even more delighted when it turned out to be a very long album. It starts off with a really nice Les Holroyd song confronting the listener with one of the most intriguing questions mankind can pose: "who do we think we are?" It's a very nice, melodic song, very typically Holroyd with, fortunately, some hard edges. A good opener which is followed by a very nice Lees' contribution, featuring his wellknown guitar playing. But then things really start to deteriorate. 'Copii Romania' is a really akward ballad, far over the top albeit that the subject of the song is very sympathic. But Holroyd chooses the wrong arrangement with only vocals and dreadful keyboards. Unfortunately it would throw the light for more horrible contributions from his side.... 'Back to earth', dedicated to Lees' father who passed away during the recording of the album and 'Cold war' are quite nice songs, not bad but most certainly also not very good either. Yet it is very good to witness that the band took up the challenge to write songs about actual themes and that they take a stand. 'Forever yesterday' is nice and melodic and manages to render the atmosphere of rural northern England where the band resides. Yet is is unforgivable that the record company decided to cut off the beautiful coda of this song because the album would otherwise have become too lenghty!! That coda, appearing on the 'Endless dream' compilation, is more worth listening to than the contributions by Holroyd on the rest of the album. Because 'The great unknown', 'Silver wings' and 'A matter of time' are very. very mediocre songs with unsurprising and unappaling melodies and arrangements. The album is saved by two Lees' songs: 'Once more' is more or less a wink to their own career as its guitar solo is the same as in their most wellknown song during the Harvest years, 'Mockingbird'. Yet the solo is totally differently arranged and sounds very good. Lees' last song, the haunting 'Ballad of Denshaw Mill' is somewhat too long because the musical achievements are not that exciting. It is a very moving and beautiful song that tells an interesting story but it should have been more arranged and should have contained more solos or other attractions. Probably it was the length problem again.

All in all Once again is not their strongest achievement but when you program your cd-player well you can enjoy more than 50 minutes of beautiful progrock and - ballads. And skip those three awful songs for the rest of your life!!

Theo Verstrael | 3/5 |


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