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Procol Harum - Broken Barricades CD (album) cover

BROKEN BARRICADES

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

3.34 | 151 ratings

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iluvmarillion
4 stars Broken Barricades, the fifth album of Procol Harum is the one associated most with the playing of Robin Trower. Trower performs and sings on the psychedelic, Song For A Dreamer, a homage to Jimi Hendrix who died only a fortnight after Trower last saw him perform. Robin Trower is often compared to Jimi Hendrix but the comparison is a bit unfair because there can only be one Jimi Hendrix. Song For A Dreamer is a precursor of the style of guitar playing you get on the Trower's Bridge Of Sighs album where Trower strengthens the guitars by adding bass player/singer John Dewar. Song For A Dreamer has all the familiar progressive elements of choruses, guitars that come and go and time changes to some sublime drumming of BJ Wilson. Another hard rocker on the album is Memorial Drive, also sung by Trower, with some superb heavy guitar playing. The album is mixed with a couple of stunning Brooker ballads, Broken Barricades and Luskus Delph. Keith Reid lyrics are a little less literal from the death obsessed lyrics of the Home album but have a certain poetry that suits the album. Simple Sister, the album opener, is much like the rest of the album in featuring less of the usual organ on a Procol Harum album and slipping in the occasional moog synthesizer. It starts off with a heavy guitar riff, rising in pitch to Brooker's voice and more electric guitar until settling into some Boogie Woogie style piano.

Broken Barricades is a hidden gem. It's a shame that Robin Trower didn't continue with Procol Harum, but then we'd be missing out on some great Robin Trower solo albums. BJ Wilson shows here that he is one of the great drummers of his generation. Pity Procol Harum didn't have a stronger bass player. Then we might be comparing them with bands like The Who. After this Gary Brooker started working with orchestras which yielded mixed results. While he continued to improve as a song writer the band loses that hard edge that they had with this album.

iluvmarillion | 4/5 |

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