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Uriah Heep - Look At Yourself CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.12 | 676 ratings

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3 stars Look At Yourself was the first Uriah Heep album to enter the UK chart on its release in 1971. This album saw Ken Hensley's emergence as the dominant songwriter, but also marked the end of bass player Paul Newton's association with the band.

The title track opens the album in energetic fashion with a forceful guitar and Hammond riff that features Box and Hensley playing in unison during the transitions between verses. Mick Box displays great wah wah pedal technique in his solo, before Osibisa add percussions to the runaway mine-train ending. I Wanna Be Free is a straightforward melodic rocker that has Byron's voice and Box's guitar shrieking to a noisy climax. What can I add to previous descriptions of the following track, July Morning? It's a 10-minute Hammond-driven tour de force that should tick all the boxes for Heep fans: Fine David Byron vocals, from quietly reflective to intensely emotional; Tidal waves of Hammond organ and wah wah guitar; Great melody and varied dynamics. It even features a guest appearance by Manfred Mann, whose Mini-Moog duels with Mick Box's wah wah for the closing minutes of the song. Epic!

Tears In My Eyes is another rocker, this one featuring slide guitar and more Mini-Moog. Midway through the song there's an acoustic interlude that gradually builds to a guitar solo before returning to the main riff. Shadows Of Grief is the most complex piece on the album and contains ominous, brooding sections that alternate with hard, aggressive riffs. Some ghostly-sounding vocal effects add to the threatening atmosphere of this song. Track 6, What Should Be Done, mainly features piano and organ and sounds like the kind of song that would feature on Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf. Unfortunately it's nowhere near as good as anything on the Hensley solo album and even manages to end up sounding like a Kiki Dee cover (sorry Ken!). The first few distant strains of Hammond on Love Machine precipitate the classic Circle Of Hands. Thereafter it's another rocker featuring more of Hensley's slide guitar along with Mick Box's trademark wah wah.

Look At Yourself is another fine album that cemented the classic Heep sound. It features several songs that would become live favourites, but conversely there are no acoustic ballads in the vein of The Park from the Salisbury album. So, a collection that has some excellent songs but is possibly lacking in variety and subtlety, and which contains one duffer in What Should Be Done. All things considered I'd place it on a par with Salisbury, therefore I'll give it 3 stars.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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