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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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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After their excellent Live '74 and their first Polydor studio album (very pleasant as well), BJH won't change their style.They will keep on producing very melodic songs that convey some sadness or melancholy due to John's vocals. "In My Life" fully corresponds to this description.

Some religious oriented songs will also be part of their repertoire. I respect one's philosophical ideas but I can hardly cope with this (same feeling applies to Carlos Santana or Yes, especially when they play live). So, "Sweet Jesus" is definitely not a fave of mine.

The musical intro for "Titles" sets the pace. What we'll get here is a very original tribute to the Fab Four. In previous releases (Harvest days), I mentioned the strong influence of the Fab Four on BJH's music. It starts with some notes from "The Long & Winding Road" and most of the lyrics are made of titles from their songs.

I can't resist to provide you with the chorus lines : "Lady Madonna let it be, Something in the way you moved me yesterday, All you need is love so they say". But don't worry : "The Long & Winding Road", "Here Comes The Sun", "Across The Universe" won't be forgotten. The idea is rahter original and the melody if of course very Beatles- esque.

Still, this album is not as strong as their previous one. It sounds as if the band is short of ideas. They try to match "Everyone..." but some songs here are a bit too flat to achieve that ("Jonathan" for instance). BJH invented the most symphonic rock possible. Mellotron lovers (to which I belong) will be delighted with a track like "Beyond the Grave". But too little of these songs will be featured here.

It might sound strange but at the time of this release, BJH was one of my favourite bands (together with Genesis, Yes, Floyd, Van Der Graaf and ELP in my order of preference). I guess that I needed to get some breaks from time to time and listen to less complex music. This is exactly what you'll get here. But less polished, less achieved than on "Once Again" and "Everyone...". Some nice little songs and that's it.

"Moongirl" is my favourite track from "Time Honoured Ghosts". But are The Beatles ghosts ? The album closes on a weak song, so it was time to finish the album...

I've seen the supporting tour for "Time..." in Brussels. The (vague) souvenir I have is that BJH did not play too many songs from this album. It was almost the content of "Live 74" augmented with some new songs so, I was quite happy at the end of the concert.

Songs featured here are short ones. I would call them "symphonic pop". This album is of course not a must have and is far from being a masterpiece. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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