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Barclay James  Harvest - River Of Dreams CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.22 | 56 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

RIVER OF DREAMS is the last BJH album to feature JOHN LEES and LES HOLROYD together. Each one will go their separate way but still keeping the brandname. Not only we haven't lost BJH, we are going to be treated in the future with...2 BJH versions: 'BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST through the eyes of JOHN LEES'' and ''BJH featuring LES HOLROYD''.

IT didn't matter ( at least for me) that the ''classic'' line-up disbanded as there were no real band working together in the first place for the last 2 decades. Each songwriter came in the studio with their own ''babies'' and recorded them with minimal participation from the other leader. That was especially true for LES HOLROYD who composed mostly synth-lead AOR songs with very minimun guitar input from LEES. Actually , BJH were already 2 different entities sharing the same vinyl or CD space; now they would still keep the name, but have a (muiscal) life on their own.

RIVER OF DREAMS would not leave any mark in the history of prog music, not even in the history of the band. BJH is at the end of the road creatively, just using the same old recipes we have tasted for so long. RIVER OF DREAMS feature10 relatively long tracks played with no enthusiasm, just going through the motions. As usual, this is not bad, but believe me this album can be used as a sleeping pill in case you have trouble falling assleep. The sound is monotonous, the same goes for the vocal renditions. There is no spark, no energy whatsoever.

None of the 10 tracks is worth being included in a best-of of the band. Seems to me i already have heard those songs in the past, only better.LES HOLROYD is at it again, trying to do an imitation of PETER CETERA from CHICAGO on such dull tracks like DO YOU BELIVE IN DREAMS or TOOK ME SO LONG. JOHN LEES plays mainly ballads, no hard rock tune this time; maybe it would have been a good idea for once as it would at least pull me out of my lethargy. There is nothing to hurt your ears, but also nothing to excite you either as they have tendency to drag on indefinitely.

I definitely cannot find a real highlight here:MR E. or CHILDREN OF THE DISAPPEARED have their moments, with good LEES guitar licks, BACK IN THE GAME is a typical HOLROYD tune but still pleasant. However this is an album of a formula which has run its course to the max. The band has no gas left in the tank. This was the time to say goodbye, sadly not with a bang!


febus | 2/5 |


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