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Roger Hodgson - In the Eye of the Storm CD (album) cover


Roger Hodgson


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3.46 | 104 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars In the bull's eye, but through the ears

Almost 3 stars, but not enough. After having left Supertramp in what appeared an amicable parting at first (but growing tense fairly rapidly), Roger had to respond to Tramp's amazing Brother Where You Bound album, so good that Roger's presence wasn't missed. Roger answered with a fairly good solo debut album, taking the chance to play most instruments himself, except mainly for the great Michael Shrieve drumming on 5 tracks and some bass works and more details. With a very evocative artwork, Eye Of The Storm raised many hopes among Supertramp fans, but the album is really a mixed bag

As Surpertramp's Brother album had given in to a bit of modernity (the Canonball groove is fairly 80's-ish), Roger also gave in t "progress", but more noticeably so, mainly in the drumming department, when not Shrieving, it's . Opening on the album is the almost 9-mins Had A Dream, which came in with an ambitious but frenetic and stressing MTV videoclip to accompany the album's release. A lengthy intro leads in a very fearsome ambiance, as if Roger had more of a nightmare than a dream. We'd never seen that facet of Roger in Supertramp. Right after this interesting start, Roger attacks the better known In Jeopardy, a very Davies-ian piano tune with an ultra-high synth line, but the vocal line is typically Roger's usual self. Lovers In The Woods is a good mainly piano tune with Roger's usual sensibility and sparse arrangements. However, Hooked On A Problem is a return to the bad Last Words album (best skipped fwd), and again sounds as if Davies had written it. These two influenced each other more than they thought.

On the flipside, Give Me Life is one of those wanker melodies Roger got us used to in every album since Dreamer on Crime, and here it doesn't serve his cause and that track overstays most of its 7-mins+. A bit more interesting is the guitar-ey I'm Not Afraid, but it quickly becomes repetitive and becomes irritating by the end of its 7 minutes. To close the album, Roger strikes a big one, Only Because Of You, a calm and sad lament (and album best) that seems aimed at Davies, whose shadow seems float all over album, when it should've Roger's that should've soared over Brother Where You Bound. So for this first post-split album, Davies takes the first inning with the outstanding Brother, despite a meriting Hodgson effort.

As the album title and the song texts indicates, Roger's state of mind was not exactly in peace with himself after exiting the group. Some of those numbers could've bettered (if possible) the fabulous Brother Where You Bound album from his former band, but on the whole Supertramp proved they could do without him, at least at first. Most likely the acrimony between the factions will stem from this first round, and worsen as it went unhealed. Eye Of The Storm is an honest solo album in the sense that Gilmour or Hackett or Banks made solo album - Of limited interest, but no doubt that many Hodgson enthusiasts will praise beyond reason.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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