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Uriah Heep - Sweet Freedom CD (album) cover

SWEET FREEDOM

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.44 | 343 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

baz91
Prog Reviewer
2 stars No more prog, just good ol' heavy rock!

I had originally resigned myself to giving this album one star because, after hearing the mediocrity of 'The Magician's Birthday', I thought there could surely be nothing to save the band's sixth album. I then gave the album a couple of spins and something miraculous happened: I started to like it. It might be that while the former album was riddled with useless tracks like Spider Woman, 'Sweet Freedom' is full of better compositions. This would be the third album with the Byron/Hensley/Box/Kerslake/Thain line-up, which is surprising given how volatile the line-up could be.

The album opens with the punchy rocker Dreamer. The very first thing I noticed about this song is how Box's guitar work seems to mirror his solo from the last album in the song The Magician's Birthday. This is a fast-paced song, and is over relatively quickly.

Stealin' was the band's lead single from the album. The song is told from the viewpoint of a cowboy who has 'done the rancher's daughter' and feels bad about what he has done. This song wouldn't be as good as it is if the drums and grinding organ didn't sound so well tuned. Even though the lyrics can be a little suspect, this is still a fun song.

One Day is a brief rock song with bizarre lyrics. There's not a lot of things to say about this track, but i do like the riff used during the verse.

The title track, Sweet Freedom, is a powerful rocker with a strong underlying organ theme. The chorus, which just consists of Sweeeeet, Sweeeeet, Freeeedom repeated over and over, is my least favourite part of the track. The interesting bit is how they build up the song slowly from a quiet start, and again after the first chorus. Not quite a good enough track to have the album named after it, but what can you do.

If I Had The Time is my least favourite track on this record. It annoys me in that it has pretentious lyrics and a repetitive feel. The organ riff sounds great the first 10 times, but continues throughout the entire track. Sorry Hensley, I don't have the time!

Seven Stars becomes the surprising favourite for me on this album. Despite it's brevity, and lack of anything that could be called progressive, the rhythmic feel of the song coupled with fun lyrics and great powerful drumming makes this a song to rock out to. The band clearly don't take the song seriously as Byron starts to recite the alphabet at the end of the song. An extended version of this song can be heard on the latest remaster, and what's peculiar is that the song doesn't feel any different with the extra 3 minutes.

The shortest track on the record, Circus, is a lighter, more relaxing song with an acoustic feel. I really like this song, and if I could find an album that was full of music like this, I'd snap it up, as I've been looking for music to relax to for ages.

The final track, Pilgrim, is surely the most progressive number on the record. The regular proggy symptoms are there: tracklength over 7 minutes, unusual song structure, no chorus, pretentious lyrics. Unfortunately however, this track is just too heavy and noisy and there's no instrumental or cool rhythm or other musical device to keep you interested in this song. I have to say though, I adore the lyric 'Life's like an apple with love as the core'

Although it wasn't progressive, the musical direction Uriah Heep took here was more clear than on their earlier albums. If you're a Heep fan, you will love this album, but there's nothing progressive enough to interest most of the readers on this website.

baz91 | 2/5 |

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