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Lucifer's Friend - Sneak Me In CD (album) cover


Lucifer's Friend

Heavy Prog

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2 stars As this album is not rated yet and Lucifer's Friend is my favourite German Band bar none, I thought I'd give my take on this album. They rock! (but mostly they don't prog)

Generally, I separate Lucifer's Friend's albums into two categories: the absolutely great (First, 'Where The Groupies.', 'Rock and Roll Singer', 'Banquet', 'Mindexploding', and 'Mean Machine') and the mediocre ('Good Time Warrior' and this one here).

Except 'Where the Groupies Killed the Blues' and 'Banquet', they can't really be described as anwhere near Prog.

The problem is that the gap between the great and mediocre is quite large; apparently this was due to the band struggling with existential problems, trying desperately to gain some recognition by trying to go going mainstream just to stay alive. Does this seem familiar towards the end of the '70s?

Another point is that the great albums were fronted by John Lawton, the others had Mike Starrs as vocalist. Not only did this seem to reflect in the quality of the vocals, but also in the songs presented, which tended to be almost embarrassingly sucking up to the taste of the tasteless.

Anyway, I've heard this album being accused of bowing towards Disco, but I don't think this is true, to my ears the songs presented here are more Rock/Pop, quite often crossing the boundary into Pop much too far.

For the Prog enthusiast there is nothing to listen to here, please move on.

Still, I can't diss it completely, because I personally enjoy it now and again, when the mood takes me.

There is no point in discussing individual tracks, they are much too similar, but at the same time there are choruses, breaks and harmonies scattered about that take you by surprise. Sadly though, these are few and far between.

So why am I reviewing this album? To be honest, I just came across the list of interviewed albums and the band name just jumped out at me and reminded me of the great albums (see above) they've recorded in the past.

So please, don't listen to this album, but why not give 'Where the Groupies Killed the Blues' or 'Banquet' a try?

The rating for this album is 2 stars, perhaps 2 ½? Don't know, does it matter?

Report this review (#176457)
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars Not one of Lucifer's better friends, this one!

Lucifer's Friend is a much underrated band that I like very much, but this positive judgement on the band is certainly not based on the present album! Sneak Me In bears little or no relation to the Lucifer's Friend I know and love from excellent albums like Banquet, Where The Groupies Killed The Blues and their self-titled debut. Singer John Lawton is no longer with them at this point, since he moved to Uriah Heep. His replacement is Mike Starrs, who previously sang for the Jazz-Rock band Colosseum II. Starrs is a good vocalist, so the problem is not so much in the vocal department. The lyrics, on the other hand, are mostly truly awful, cheesy and full of clichés.

The songs are all relatively short and rather straightforward. This is hardly Heavy Prog, as it is neither heavy nor progressive. The style adopted here is closer to New Wave, AOR and Pop than to anything progressive. Journey would not have been ashamed to release this in the 80's and some moments sound a bit like Blue Öyster Cult (at their worst).

There are some truly cringe worthy moments, and hardly any decent moments at all to make the album worth while even for fans like yours truly. This is just about listenable, and I will not play this album many more times. There is one good song on this album and that is the closer, Cosmic Crusader.

Do by no means start your investigation into Lucifer's Friend with the present album. Start instead with the great albums I mentioned above.

Only for completionists and hard core fans

Report this review (#267245)
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Strange to see this album the lowest rated from their catalogue, to me is much better the previous album Good time warrior. Ok here we have a solid AOR album with some pop elements and some good keybords added in the sound. Catchy tunes I founded here with energic playing even this album has nothing realy to do with their early works. If you like Toto, Journey, the bands from late '70's early '80's that made famous this genre of music - AOR this album is for you. Mike Stars is more confident in his vocal abilities and is shown in pieces like Star dancer or Foxy lady, good vocals typical for thismusical aproach, but not bad at all to listen, even are not prog at all. I like that analog sound of the keybords, that many band tried to use in that new decade. Sneak me in released in 1980 was a good affair for that period, I guess, because is liekare two band if you look in their career, first one with Lawton where the early works were rough, heavy prog with lots of excellent and comlex arrangements and second period after Lawton departure whene the band took another path, more comercial attitude. Anyway I find this album to be good AOR album, pleasent from first to last tune, nothing special realy but ok in the end, the progressive elements are gone living place to a mainstream sound now. 3 stars for this one, realy not so bad as many said here and far better then Good time warriors but weaker in every sense of the word then Banquet for ex.
Report this review (#376139)
Posted Saturday, January 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars The heavy prog genre in which this band is categorized on PA was only suitable to their first two albums. What came next was not really impressive to say the least.

It would be daring to say that this work is remarkably progressive but I have to say that it shows some good rock songs with powerful vocals ("Goodbye Girls", "Foxy Lady"). It has been ages since the band didn't propose something as close to rock as this album. No more brass, no more orchestrations: thank god!

Of course, there are some pop-rock tunes available which are not of the best level ("Stardancer") but the global feeling is rather pleasant. "Indian Summer" shows some links with the Heep (keys and vocals). It is one of my fave from this album (good guitar break) even if it also sounds AOR at times (on the contrary of the title track which is far too much AOR oriented)

One of the most attractive elements of the band at this stage is the vocal department. They have pretty well digested Lawton's departure (after "Mind Exploding"). Their new singer (who joined already for "Good Time Warrior") is leaning towards Mercury and this is not bad at all!

The most melodic, crafted and passionate song of the whole is definitely the closing number: bombastic, skilled and powerful. It could have sit on a "Queen" album. What a pity that not more of this type of song was available! I would rate this album with five out of ten but reduced to two stars for its obvious AOR orientation.

Report this review (#457482)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink

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