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Barclay James  Harvest - Time Honoured Ghosts CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.63 | 194 ratings

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Theo Verstrael
4 stars After the superb 'Everyone is everybody else' it would have been a hell of a job for any band to produce a successor that could stand in the shadow of their Polydor debut. And so it happens that 'Time honoured ghosts' isn't that good. It is a very mellow album with a particular pastoral atmosphere, drawn up by the more than beautiful cover painting (probably the most beautiful cover of the seventies?). The first track is a very promising one, with good, sharp guitar playing by John Lees, good lyrics and a very melodic, almost a capella sung middle section. But when the listener is ready to hear the next beautiful song his ears are tormented by the horrible 'Sweet Jesus', one of the worst songs Les Holroyd ever wrote. Horrible lyrics, horrible music, just skip it. The next track is the well- crafted 'Titles', in fact a small hit in The Netherlands. I have always liked that song, no matter its simplicity in melody. It grabbed me, it touched me, ij fact I think that it is one of the best hommages to the great Beatles that any band has written. All other tracks are very enjoyable, with a remarkable recovery in quality of the Les Holroyd songs ('Jonathan' is certainly one of his best ones). And the album closes with a very good track, 'One night', albeit not spectacular in songwriting, it is very well written in melody, lyrics and instrumentation. There is, however, another problem with this album. The majority of the tracks is simply too short. 'In my life', 'Jonathan', 'Hymn for the children', 'Song for you' and especially 'One night' deserved to go on for another couple of minutes. When performed live the band indeed extended the songs and did them more justice in that way. It is really a pity that it hasnot been done on the album itself. That would have made a much stronger album, more comparable to EIEE. Now it is a good album with one horrible and several great songs.
Theo Verstrael | 4/5 |


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