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

CAUGHT IN THE LIGHT

Barclay James Harvest

 

Crossover Prog

2.57 | 73 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After a very average opener, we'll get some cold-wave influence (Tubeway Army) during "Knoydart" which is a good and unexpected track. Actually, "Copii Romania" is another nice ballad, full of keys. Somewhat mellow but the spacey mood is very pleasant. BJH has not released such aerial number for a very long time. One can only be pleased.

The instrumental intro of "Back To Earth" has the same structure : very pleasant keyboards before the vocal starts. I have to admit that this song is better than what we have been used by the band during the last decade and a half. It sounds as if it was coming out form another time. But, again, who could complain ?

"Cold War" is another very pleasant number. Hey ! I must be dreaming. Four good songs in a row ! I can't remember this on a BJH any longer and I am not joking. The keyboards are again extremely present and provide a subtle mood, far away from those awful attempts to AOR music of the last albums. BJH sounds definitely better when it sticks to simple, but attractive melodies.

Both "Forever Yesterday" as "The Great Unknown" are not as powerful; but still alright and above most of their production available since "Eyes Of The Universe" (yes, back to 1979). Just nice little ballad. A bit na´ve. But at least BJH will avoid to fall as low as in ... the next song : "Spud-U-Like". Finally, we are brought back into the nightmare again. The same nighmare that I had to endure during several BJH albums. But apparently, it will be one of a kind on this album. Not too much damage since it is a very long album (almost seventy minutes).

I am less positive then some fellow reviewers about "Once More". The reference to "Mocking Bird" is of course obvious; but more in the lyrics than in the music. Except the final instrumental part which is really great. It is of course remarkable to have this capability of self-parody.

As the final number of this album is arriving soon, the feeling is a bit too mellowish with "A Matter Of Time". It is now a bit too much, although guitar and keys are very nicely played (but this is a constant during this work).

The closing number "Ballad Of Denshaw Mill" opens like a Celtic song. It reminds me Mostly Autumn untill the vocals enter the scene. It is one of the longest BJH song ever. Talking about an epic is probably out of purpose. It is too uniform (boring) for this. Actually, it is a major disappointment to get such a long song without texture. I would have expected something bigger to close this good album.

The end is near for BJH, and even if I have no clue who was still interested in their music in 1993 I have to admit that this album is a very good surprise. A bit too long, probably by two or three songs.

I had almost forgotten that BJH could write a good album (but this feeling was also true for Kansas, ELO, Heep at a certain time of their career). So, from time to time I am rewarded in reviewing a band's (almost) entire catalogue. This album sounds as if Woolly had come back !

Three stars (but seven out of ten if I had been able to rate on this scale).

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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