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Believe - Hope To See Another Day CD (album) cover





3.38 | 82 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars A tip of the hat to Mr Gil for taking a chance and producing an album that is as much grunge as neo prog. The results aren't always stellar, but he can't be faulted for giving it a whirl.

While the album contains some similarities to Collage and a few more to Satellite, I suspect that in part this is due to the guitars and the myriad strong solos, but even there you don't get the Steve Hackett style so much, but more like the Sarhan style of Satellite, only with a much harder rock backing. And if kinship with the Collage/Satellite axis is tenuous, this sounds totally unlike the rather light but very enjoyable solo album "Alone" by Mr Gil from 1997, even if that album contained a track called "Believe". Confused yet?

Taken on its own, "Hope to See Another Day" offers many grungy pleasures - the vocals and all the playing are more than competent, and every listen exposes new variants, so give this several spins once you get over the inevitable shock. The album starts strongly with "What is Love", which in its 7 minutes showcases all the strengths of the band as well as the tendency to rely on a basic beat a little too long, but they also break into a more middle eastern sounding motif in the second half. This is meat and potatoes music with a dose of arugula, if you know what I mean.

My favourite is probably the near ballad "Pain". What a gorgeous melody brought out by Gil's mournful solo in the middle! "Seven Days" is another great tune with a quiet start where Gil's lead forms a backdrop for a dramatic narrative before the heavy rhythm guitar comes in and the song cooks. What a chorus. "Don't Tell me" is also highly recommended, especially for the violin lead in the finale. While the lengthy title cut has its moments, it ends up dragging a fair bit, and a couple of the other cuts are just too clunky. The album lapses into some degree of sameness, but that the aforementioned tracks manage to stand out is a tribute to the master's hand.

So, this is a mixed bag, but I recommend it because when it is good it is very good to great, and that is preferable to an album where everything is OK.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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