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Procol Harum - Broken Barricades CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 150 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Fifth album from the Southend On Sea group, but clearly after an unfocused ASD, a much better but incredibly depressive home, Procol is confirming the harder rock direction Home had given them. Nothing wrong with this except that this album does not really sound like a Procol album, and the group is again losing focus. Actually, I personally read this album as a dead-end street, with the only exit a line-up change as Trower is clearly now ready to fly on his own (this will take a few years after one false start) and Dave Knights (only ever adequate on bass but not stand-out) getting the axe.

From the strong starter Simple Sister (with Trower shining his brilliant Mountain-like riffs and lines) and the impressive ultimate crescendo (Strings and horns section) that can be considered one more excellent Procol bit. Trower also shines in his Memorial drive with heavy riffs, but the track is too bluesy and clearly the different facets of the schizophrenic group are losing the listener. The Brooker tracks are also not the most groundbreaking: the heavily-orchestrated and syrupy Lukus (this track receives a second life in the Edmonton album as a bonus), or the title track, or even yet Power Failure featuring an interesting (live) percussions passage demonstrating (if need be) that BJ Wilson is a much over-looked drummer in prog. One of the highlight of the album is the dreamy Trower-penned Song For A Dreamer, indicating his future solo career: We can see ourselves on Bridges Of Sighs and Trower is really influenced by Hendrix's works. A lovely track with Wilson's percussions again taking a good spotlight, not very Procol-esque track, but one of the most psychedelic moments of theirs. Playmate Of The Mouth is again reminding of the lead-off track Sister, with heavy horns arrangements. The album is closing on another hard rocker Poor Mohamed were Trower is shinning like a sun.

Although an atypical album for Procol, this album still has enough moments to be heard by all Procol investigators. But Clearly with three tracks and his guitar piercing the screen in every track, there was changes ahead. Robin is now rerady to become a Hood and start career. Clearly the two stars on this album are Wilson's percussions and Trower's sizzling lines. Not essential an album, but worthy.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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