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Ken Hensley - Cold Autumn Sunday CD (album) cover


Ken Hensley

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3 stars Here we go with this Ken Hensley's album called Cold Autumn Sunday. First of all I want to say it is the first Ken Hensley's solo album I've ever heard and responsibly can say I'm not surprised with this first touch to solo music. Why I'm not surprised with this album. Cold Autumn Sunday is completely structured in Uriah Heep's manner. It shows the leadership of Ken Hensley when he was in Uriah Heep and his big contribution to this band. Each song remind me to Uriah Heep in one or other way.

One of the moments I want to discuss is the solid production of the album. The sound is clear and professional. All the musicians chosen for the project are from Spain (I think not very popular session musicians to the progressive rock society), but the work they had done is good surprise for me. I think the album have enough ideas to catch the listeners, especially the fans of that kind of music (I mean Uriah Heep & co). Overall, the album is not something brilliant or special, but can be treated as one good album-oriented rock album. I consider it exactly album-oriented rock, because of the integrity. I mean it doesn't contain any better songs than most of the others, but it doesn't contain songs much weaker than most of the others, too! This is typical 3 stars album with all songs being 3 stars like the album as whole. It didn't produce any memorable song, that could be hit single or something like landmark of the album. It's hard to listen to anything from Cold Autumn Sunday without the other songs. All of these thoughts hint me this is album-oriented rock. Of course, some songs consist of progressive element...

The other important thing about the album is the predominating of slow songs and ballads or soft rock as whole. The vocal works are big surprise for me. I think the voice of Ken Hensley is very similar to John Wetton's voice. In some moments Ken Hensley is trying to make attempts to resemble to the voice of David Byron, which is impossible to a certain degree. That similarity of of these two voices - Ken Hensley and John Wetton - make me curious about the comparison of Cold Autumn Sunday with Phoenix by Asia. This album remind me Asia's one. I think Phoenix is much better and consists of stronger, more progressive and faster songs than this one. While Asia's album deserves 3.3 (or the high section of 3 stars mark) for Cold Autumn Sunday I will give under the middle section of the 3 stars - somewhere about 2.75 - 2.8!!!

Report this review (#195607)
Posted Sunday, December 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album is more on the rocking side than usual. Of course, there will be some nice ballads (like the title track, although its country style is not my cup of tea or the well named "Romance"), but the overall mood is radio friendly, AOR oriented (too much to my taste: "Inside The Mystery", "When").

It is one of the most commercial album from the great man, and I have to admit that it is not the facet I prefer. Vocals are well performed (as usual). For those who are discovering his solo career, this might well be a surprise; but Ken proved for a long time now that he was quite a good singer (and not only doing some backings as while he was in the Heep).

Most songs are shortly formatted and sounds more as pop-rock tunes ("Longer Shadows" which is one of my faves). Still, none of them are weak (except "Secret" probably), even if not great either. I guess that, by now, it is difficult to surprise his fans. It's have been quite a ride since the early days and Ken hasn't anything to prove any longer. His albums are dedicated to devoted fans and there is little room for revolution.

Upbeat rock for "Brown Eyed Boy" is quite alright, but again, the AOR-ish style is not the best way I can appreciate the artist. At the end of the day, there aren't enough good songs featured on this "Cold Autumn Sunday" to get the third star from me. Five out of ten. Average.

Report this review (#245120)
Posted Sunday, October 18, 2009 | Review Permalink

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