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Uriah Heep - Different World CD (album) cover


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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Situations vacant - song writer

This was the second album by what has become the longest running Uriah Heep line up. It sees them consolidating, but not really progressing from, the vast improvements made on their previous album "The raging silence". The gap of two years between these two albums can be attributed to the lack of interest from record companies in offering the band an album deal. While they were still enjoying a reasonable amount of success touring in some parts of the world, it seems they were not seen as sufficiently marketable to justify signing them up (a problem which persists for the band to this day).

Since Richard Dodd, who had produced "The raging silence", was unavailable, bassist Trevor Boulder assumed production duties. The album was eventually released early in 1991 to almost universal apathy. This was partly as a result of poor promotion, and the band subsequently severed their connection with Legacy records as a result.

"Different world" finds the band in pretty much the same world as their previous album, consisting of 10 fairly routine rock numbers. There is a little more diversity, with a children's chorus on "All god's children", but there's generally a sameness to the songs. The music is not particularly adventurous, leaning at times towards the AOR sound of Styx and Foreigner. It is really in the song writing department though that the weaknesses are exposed. While the performances are competent, the album cries out for a Ken Hensley composition for the band to exploit.

The title track was later transformed by its inclusion in the "Acoustically driven" set, which revealed the true strength of the track. It has to be said though, that strength is largely hidden here.

In all, a solid but dull album. While I kept buying Uriah Heep's new releases in the hope that they would rediscover their form of the 1970's, by the time of this album I was starting to despair. Little did I know then that the next album would prove the wait to have been worthwhile.

Report this review (#31389)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I managed to buy this album as a vinyl in the early 1990's from the discount shelf, and was surprised as I later saw this on a record auction with a moderately big price. I was told that the vinyl version was actually quite rare due small pressing numbers due the time of release, and from its content I would judge it as a nice hard-rock item from this classic rock group. But I guess only the serious collectors are after it for bigger money, as it isn't very groundbreaking album. Some good rocking goes on in it though, the opener "Blood On Stone" is certainly a quite catchy song. I contemplated, that it's interesting and revealing, if Van Halen would play this music I wouldn't be interested of it, but I guess I have a special place for this band in my heart due nostalgia? During the time of purchase I also saw the band on stage several times, and the charm of the post 1980's line-up is evident. The title track "Different World" is also quite good song, but I would not recommend this album for elitist progheads.
Report this review (#31390)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I'm afraid that "Different World" won't bring anything different to the Heep's discography. This album clearly indicates that the hard (or even heavy) side will be pursued. This was already the case in their previous album, which was too monotonous to be interesting. I'm afraid we'll get the same stuff here.

Although the opening track is a decent number (and probably one of the best here), I cannot find the brilliantness of earlier opening numbers. I just believe that the genious has gone, that no one can replace Hensley in terms of song-writing (I admit it was not an easy task). This album is a carbon copy of the previous one : same tempo, same structure. It sounds dull most of the time.

It is very difficult to take out a number that would be different, better. Most sound the same and it is not the use of a children choir in "All God's Children" that will change my mind. "All For One", sounds a bit different though : the Heep meets the electro-pop genre. Rather unexpected but I can not complain since it brings a bit of diversity on this work. The chorus is a bit mellowish but it is not too bad a song. Easy listening music. Like the title track : a pop song also "lighter" than the first three numbers. Nothing great though.

My preferred song on this album is "Step By Step". It reminds me seriously Purple Mark III. It rocks very well, I must say. This was the third track in a row that can be catalogued as a decent number. But we are brought back immediately to the heavy side with "Seven Days". There will be another attempt to pop song with "First Touch". Needless to say that it is rather weak.

This album (like the previous one) lacks in personality. Hundreds of bands must have produced such efforts in the eighties. This album is not their worse but I do not recommend it, neither to old fans of course, neither to someone willing to be introduced to the band.

The remastered edition holds the awful "Rockarama" version available on "Live In Moscow" as well as some edited versions of their previous album ("Hold your Head up", "Blood Red Roses"). Not really useful as the whole of this work. It was long time ago since the Heep did produce such a weak album ("Fallen Angel" in 1978).

I was hesitant for the rating but really, it does not deserve much than one star (maybe three out of ten). It is quite a deception since I had put many hopes in this line-up thanks to their very good "Live In Moscow". It seems that , thanks to good musicianship, they can only perform (very well) old numbers but when comes the time to write new material, the story is diametrically different. There is not a single second of prog here, of course.

Report this review (#118955)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is the third album of Uriah Heep with the longest tenure lead vocalist the band has ever had: Bernie Shaw. There is basically nothing special about this album except that this is the band's effort after replacing with new vocalist (Bernie Shaw). The opening track "Blood On Stone" (4:38) is a rocker with excellent guitar work of Mick Box. It's quite OK in terms of composition but unfortunately the next song does not seem sound like typical Uriah Heep track. "Which Way Will The Wind Blow" (4:52) is a confusing track in terms of where the direction of Heep music is gonna be. This is also the case with "All God's Children "(4:20) and "All For One "(4:27). Even the album title track "Different World" (4:15)..

This album seems like a real test for the band in the approach of their composition and songwriting. The overall music do not seem to flow in natural wayt. Therefore I do not recommend this album to be purchased unless you are a die hard fan and willinh to collect.

Report this review (#120940)
Posted Monday, May 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars First thing to mention here this album is not bad, maybe doesn't bring anything new in both Uriah Heep's sound and in general in prog music. This is more mainstream rock album with very clear sound towards hard and heavy music, with all that not a bad album at all. Quite less intristing than the previous one but have some highlights as: opening track Blood on blood - a rocking tune with nice riffs, Which Way Will The Wind Blow, Different World and maybe the most prog song on this album One On One. In the end, this is not a prog album, Uriah Heep turn to be in the 80's and '90's more hard and heavy band but doesn't mean that they don't have good albums, one of them is Diffrent world. So 3 stars for this one, if you are a Heep fan as i am, might bring some good moments.
Report this review (#171782)
Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars After the better debut for that line-up, the second one from the same line-up shows lower level of musical abilities. Most of the songs are samples of what a Uriah Heep's song mustn't be. The best songs are Which Way Will the Wind Blow and the homonymous one - Different World! They stand out at the top of the album. You have the feeling, that the other songs are repetition of one song. I feel this is the worst album by that line-up, but not the worst by the whole career of the band. The tunes are monotonous and simple, but Different World is not full disappointment. I don't recommend this album to anyone, except the hardcore Uriah Heep's fans!!! Two stars.
Report this review (#191872)
Posted Friday, December 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars Another really bad Uriah Heep. I love the guys, but they have been struggling alot lately in the 1980's and early 1990's. The muscianship is always there, it's just the song writting is just very bad and they can't really make a good song anymore. There are a few cuts that are great on this album, but most of it sounds the same and does not sound natural in the record. The guys are playing very good on this album, but they can't seem to write good lyrics or good parts until the next album really. The guitar's are very electric and distorted on this record though, Mick Box playing some insane riffs. Opening track is excellent, and the title track is great, but the rest is really throw away type of material. Only really a 1 star, more or so for the effort.
Report this review (#258697)
Posted Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars Pretty much an example of the tame, boring AOR/heavy metal tinged music that came out of Uriah Heep during the 80's (although this was released in 1991). Could have been an album by Whitesnake or Ratt. Ugh. Sounds like 10 basic rock songs by a hair metal band that has run out of ideas. Nothing progressive, and nothing even that could be called inspired rock and roll. Bernie Shaw on vocals is typical of the "hair-band" sound. This is about as dull as Heep ever got. Thankfully. Go out and listen to THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY, DEMONS AND WIZARDS, LOOK AT YOURSELF or even RETURN TO FANTASY to see what the real Uriah Heep had to offer. 1 star. Don't bother.
Report this review (#443200)
Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Different World was the 18th album in Uriah Heep's ever growing discography. It was released in 1991. It was also the 2nd UH album in a row to feature the exact same line-up. Of course, Mick Box is on guitar as usual. Bernie Shaw does the lead vocals again, his 2nd album for the band, but his stint as lead vocalist continues without any break until the present day, making him the longest lead vocalist for the band ever. Phil Lanzon is on keyboards and vocals, and it is also his 2nd album, and like Shaw, he would also remain with the band. Trevor Bolder returns on bass and vocals, but his time with the band started back in 1983 and would continue until mid-2013. Lee Kerslake comes back as the drummer, and was the most senior (other than Mick Box) of the members, however, he would also be the first of this line-up to leave in 2007 with his final album being "Sonic Origami" (released in 1998). So, this was the beginning of a line-up that would persist through 4 studio albums total.

This album would only be released in UK, Europe and Japan originally, and would be the first album from the band that would have no singles released in the UK. The album would not be released in North America until 1994, when it was released in Canada and in the US in 2000. Even though the album seen a more limited release, it was still the first album since 1985 that had a supporting tour. Bassist Boulder also acted as producer for this album and found it a bit tough wearing both the producer and band member hats.

The music is a pop metal affair, the music being upbeat, yet very accessible with very little progressive music found throughout the album. There really isn't a whole lot that stands out on this album, the music being mostly quite generic and sounding like the commercial hair metal that was so popular during this time. The music is pretty average, and there is the usual arena-rock sound that was also popular in the 80s. There isn't much here that would be considered challenging.

The first two tracks, "Blood on Stone" and "Which Way Will the Wind Blow" are pretty standard hard rockers. "All God's Children" features a choir of children singing on the choruses, and seems happy and uplifting, not really something you wanted to hear from the band. "All for One" is totally MOR and radio friendly sounding like a soft rock "Journey" track. It sounds like Jonathan Cain was in on their songwriting sessions. The title track carries on that pop sound. "Step By Step" takes on the "Survivor" sound of the "get in their and fight" positive mentality, more pop-metal. This same pop-rock formula continues through the rest of the album as the band tries to cash in on the tacky sound that worked so well for all of the power pop bands of the 80s and 90s.

Any Uriah Heep fans looking for any kind of semblance to the heavier psychedelic and more inspired music of the bands first years in the 70s will only be disappointed. The band sounds nothing like it did in the beginning, it just as well be another band that could have been called something simple like "Europe" or "Starship" or "Foreigner" or, well you get the idea. This is far from the band's glory days and even far from the more progressive metal sound that would come later. There are some reissues of the album available with bonus tracks, but I don't know who would want an extended version of this album, because you hear everything you need to hear in the first 3 minutes. This one should be avoided unless you are a raving fan, and even then you might be disappointed.

Report this review (#2278180)
Posted Monday, November 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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