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Triumph - Just A Game CD (album) cover

JUST A GAME

Triumph

 

Prog Related

2.67 | 46 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I discovered Triumph when I was 18, about the same time that I learned about Rush and Yes. An assistant manager at the movie theater I worked at suggested that because I like these other awesome prog bands that I should check them out, too. So I picked up Just a Game, probably for $18 at the Silver Platters record store in Seattle (only after previewing them via Napster... those were the days). This may have been one of the most misguided music suggestions I've ever received; not only is Triumph not really progressive rock (at all), but they're also not anywhere near as interesting as that "other" Canadian power-trio. That being said, I still had fun with Just a Game and Triumph's other albums; they're a guilty pleasure rock band that has just enough hard rock excellence to make them worthy of discussion.

With Just a Game I think you'll find some of Triumph's best work. It's '70's era hard rock, which means its pretty awesome and genuine. The band sounds powerful, crunchy, fuzzy, and bottom-heavy. If all you need is a bit of hard rock... what more could you ask for? If you're looking for something deeper, well then you'll be skipping tracks a bit.

The opener, "Moving On" is a bland arena rocker about being on the road, sort of a required song in the repertoire of bands of this era. It's comes and goes harmlessly, though the overdubs of arena crowds cheering is a little ostentatious. "Lay it on the Line" and "Young Enough to Cry" are bluesy, heavy, and feature some good guitar work by Emmett. His playing, and the band's transitions between them and the bridges of songs, are probably the best thing you'll hear on this album.

You can just skip the trite "American Girls" for the two songs that anyone will remember about this album: "Just a Game," a slow-tempo, hard rocking crunch-fest, and the sickeningly radio-friendly and upbeat "Hold On," which is hook-laden montage material which is basically an extended version of Rush's "Closer to the Heart." It, like most of the material on this album, are just good old fashioned hard rock fun, made sort of quaint by Emmett's weak vocals. Drummer Moore's vocals are much stronger, but unfortunately he doesn't get to sing on the key songs.

So, if you're willing to take a recommendation from the burn-out assistant manager from your local cinemaplex... you'll probably find a ton to enjoy in Triumph's Just a Game! If you want a recommendation from a prog-head like me, then this is the only Triumph album you'll enjoy, but only then if you find it in the bargain bin.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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