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Steve Howe - The Steve Howe Album CD (album) cover

THE STEVE HOWE ALBUM

Steve Howe

 

Crossover Prog

3.44 | 129 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Celebrated Yes guitarist Steve Howe's self-titled album is well respected and a genuinely enjoyable, representative, and easy-going snapshot of Howe's guitar style. It doesn't soar to epic heights as one might expect if coming only from Howe's Yes output - that grandeur seems reserved for when Howe benefits from the majesty of the whole band - instead, The Steve Howe album offers mostly bite-sized moments of instrumental work that feels very warm, humble, and almost folksy.

Howe gives us, more or less, four kinds of songs: feel-good pastiches of Western Americana, filled with slide guitar and bouncing rhythms; complex acoustic jams like we've heard on his famous "The Clap"; genuine songs, in the sense that they have a conventional verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure... granted, his guitar sounds do most of the singing (except in "Look Over Your Shoulder," a song which is better than anything from the last Yes album of this era, Tormato); and finally, symphonic compositions that are lush and pleasant, but somewhat bland because his guitar drifts into the background.

That's a lot of variety, and a lot to enjoy. Some will be disappointed by the lack of "wow" moments in this album, but in the context of the time of its release (the end of Yes, pre-Asia), Howe was likely feeling the need to break away from the prog-rock epics and focus on the playful guitar creativity he couldn't always fit into Yes records. A fun, enjoyable, if overall light-weight release that will definitely please fans of Howe.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: NA - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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