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Blue Öyster Cult - Mirrors CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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2.66 | 124 ratings

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1 stars When "Mirrors" was released in 1979, the mighty New Yorkers seemed to have reached the nadir of their musical inspiration. Such an album would perhaps have been an achievement for other bands, but not for those who - just a few years earlier - had produced such masterpieces as "Tyranny and Mutation" and "Secret Treaties". Here, what we have is a mish-mash of lacklustre, trivial rock'n'roll numbers, poppy ballads, and a couple of tracks that, while undeniably decent, do not by any means reach the heights BOC had proved themselves capable of scaling.

"Mirrors" is a very big step backwards for the band, much more so than the often reviled "Agents of Fortune" and "Spectres" (which in my opinion is far better than its predecessor). For one thing, there is nothing that can be even remotely compared to "Don't Fear the Reaper" (which may be overexposed and all that, but it is nonetheless one hell of a song) or "The Golden Age of Leather". "In Thee" is a lame attempt at a romantic song, and album opener "Dr Music" sounds a bit too much like Kiss for comfort. The title-track has an almost disco beat, though Buck Dharma's solo rescues it from complete oblivion. It should also be noted that on a couple of songs the band make use of female backing vocals, which add a further dimension of radio-friendliness to the proceedings.

As already stated by my fellow reviewers, "Mirrors"' only real highlights are "The Great Sun Jester" (with lyrics by Michael Moorcock") and "The Vigil", which is also the album's longest track. The former, however, is the weakest of the three songs penned by the British fantasy and sci-fi author, and lacks the intensity and visionary grandeur of "Black Blade" and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars". On the other hand, "The Vigil", a slow-burning mid-tempo with a brief acoustic guitar intro, would not look out of place on the likes of "Secret Treaties": it features some remarkable guitar work, courtesy of the great Buck Dharma, and plenty of time changes for added interest. The brisk rocker "I Am the Storm" is also marginally more interesting than the bulk of the album, though somewhat uninspired.

After such an album, BOC seemed headed towards an unstoppable decline, at least as regards the quality of their output. Luckily, at the beginning of the new decade, through the help of legendary producer Martin Birch they managed to regain the brilliance of their earlier releases. "Mirrors" remains therefore a transitional album in the band's history, and on the whole a rather forgettable one. Only recommended if you are (like me) a long-time fan of the band, and feel the need to own all their records. As for everybody else , get the 'black and white' trilogy instead, or the two albums BOC released after this one - you will get to know them in all their glory.

Raff | 1/5 |


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