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GTR - GTR CD (album) cover




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2.32 | 132 ratings

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3 stars I have a copy of GTR since it was released, and always hated the album, but his week took my record, placed it in the car's CD player, listened it carefully. and found it much better than I remembered.

Maybe the problem is not the quality of the album because it's good POP stuff, but that we expected so much of a Hackett - Howe release that disappointed all of us when we heard it, specially the Prog fans who of course believed GTR would be a Progressive Rock master`piece and not just a good but not outstanding AOR/POP release.

So leaving behind the prejudice, will try to review it and be fair.

The album starts with "When the Heart Rules the Mind" a song that from the first note reminds clearly of ASIA, something that could be expected because both bands are product of the 80's with key members of Prog bands who decided to go for a more profitable alternative and with that keyboard sound that defined the decade.

But being honest, I don't know why I disliked this song so much when if is at least as good as most 80's stuff, solid guitar, with Howe reminding of YES (Drama era) and Hackett providing some interesting atmospheres. Max Bacon is not Lake or Wetton, but still a very decent vocalist and the interplay between Spalding and Mover was pretty solid. A good track, with 80's sound but enjoyable.

"The Hunter" also presents interesting moments, Howe's guitar again reminds of YES (This time GFTO era) and Hackett does an outstanding job, maybe the only problem is that at some point the drums sound too mechanic, but again a good AOR track.

"Here I Wait" is the lowest point until this part of the album, boring, repetitive, a hybrid between AOR, POP and lame Hard Rock, so lets go to "Sketches in the Sun" which starts with an incredibly beautiful chords interplay between Hackett and Howe, what apparently was only an intro, goes increasing in intensity until it stops and starts again, very nice song, a very high moment, sadly a bit short.

As "Here I Wait" before, "Jekyll and Hyde" is a forgettable boring song, so again will go to the next track which is "You Can Still Get Through" a song that rises the level of the album again, they even dare to make a couple of radical changes, but something is true, the voice of Bacon is boring me at this moment, the guy has very little versatility and lacks of emotion, the synth and guitar break is interesting, again a correct song.

"Reach Out (Never Say No)" starts almost like a 90125 track, but soon the voice of Max Bacon starts to bore me again, not much to comment, except for the bass work, so for the third time I run to the next song "Toe the Line" a song that should had been an instrumental, the guitar work is very pretty, but the vocals are weak.

"Hackett to Bits" alone could pay this album, Steve Hackett does a wonderful work in each moment, heard this track in live concerts and always enjoyed it from start to end, outstanding confrontation between the electric and acoustic guitar, if just all the album was as good as this song.

"Imagining" has an acoustic intro that shouts "Hackett", seems this guys reserved the best for the end, then Howe and the band join to make a very good closer, except for the vocals that by this point are starting to turn me off.

The big question is How bad would we had considered this album if Hackett and Howe were not together on it? Probably the rating would be over 3 stars because it's not bad, the problem is that the expectations were too high for this Aorish but decent album.

Now, I thought ASIA deserved at least three stars because I didn't expected as much from them, but some tracks of this album are superior to anything ASIA did, and the bad tracks are not as bad as the worst from the already mentioned supergroup.

So being an average album will have to give the average rating, three stars, but only if you don't expect a Prog masterpiece at the level of Hackett and Howe.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |


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