Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Barclay James  Harvest - Face To Face CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

2.55 | 72 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars While an improvement over "Victims of Circumstance", "Face to Face" is certainly nothing like a return to form. The production is better and less overwhelming than some of the previous albums, fewer tacky synths are present, and Lees produces some of his better guitar work, but too much lost potential is evident in some of the songs, and, as before, the filler quotient is more than ample. My review is based on an LP release that is missing two of the songs listed here: "You Need Love" and "On the Wings of Love", while including the two other songs that have "love" in the title. Is this really BJH?

The best cuts here are the John Lees songs, the excellent spacey rocker "Alone in the Night" and the scintillating electro acoustic ballad "Guitar Blues". From Holroyd, the opener "Prisoner of Your Love" is decent in a way we have heard from him time and again, while "Following me" and "All My Life" are both fairly appealing if poppy. The latter is a bit creepy in the manner of the Police's "Every Breath You Take", but the bubbling keyboards make it a good listen. Apart from the above, a lot of disappointing go-nowhere material. If "He Said Love" was supposed to be the second coming of "Hymn", it is barely an echo of that long ago classic. "African" and "Panic" are both awkward Lees rockers, the latter including more female backing vocals that we hoped we'd heard the last of. "Kiev" was no doubt designed in the tradition of "Berlin" and other political romances but is flat as a pancake, apart from the Procol Harum references in the organ break. By this time, BJH could lay claim to being the group with the most songs that could be interchanged with each other with no one the wiser. This certainly was not the case during their 70s glory years.

The bright spots notwithstanding, when I come face to face with this late 80s album, the conclusion can only be 2 stars, or less.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives