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Procol Harum - Grand Hotel CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

3.89 | 247 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the finest Procol Harum's works, and perhaps the last one that you can define as brilliant. After the artistic.commercial success that their previous 'Live' achieved, Brooker decided that it was a good idea to keep the pomp-and-circumstance momentum to a certain degree, as the opening title track shows you: Lizt-like romanticism, orchestral waltz, minuet, all comprised within the typical structure of an art rock song. More of this can be found in ellegantly articulated pieces such as the OST-oriented 'T.V. Caesar', the dramatic 'For Liquorice John' (an overwhelimg portrait of self-destruction and suicide) and the baroque-driven 'Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)'. Passion flows on without bursting out of measure in 'A Rum's Tale', a captivating bluesy ballad. But there's always room for humour and irony, as you can notice in: the fake high spirit of the broken-hearted 'Toujours l'Amour' (the single, actually); the country parody 'A Souvenir of London', which revolves around a secret V.D. that one has to hide from his wife; the playful 'Bringing Home the Bacon'; and the tropical poppish 'Robert's Box'. With Fisher out of the band some years earlier, and Trower gone since the closure of the 'Broken Barricades' tour, Brooker (with lyricist Reed's full consent) is now 100 % free to take absolute creative control over the band's repertoire: pros - an easier quest for stylistic coherence and conceptual pursuits in song writing; cons - a danger of creative exhaustion and a tendency towards self-repetition. Fortunately, in 'Grand Hotel' it is not exhaustion, but grandeur that still reigns in the kingdom of Procol Harum.

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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