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Procol Harum - Novum CD (album) cover

NOVUM

Procol Harum

 

Crossover Prog

3.28 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FunkyM
3 stars I saw Procol Harum play live two years ago, but it was a set of older material, so I had no idea what to expect out of their first album of new material in 14 years.

Gary Brooker is back, of course. Brooker has been the singer, pianist, and main songwriter for the group over the course its 50 year history. There has been some discussion in reviews online that Brooker's voice is not what it used to be and that may be true; the man is 72 years old, after all ? but it must be said that for a 72 year old man, his voice sounds pretty good.

For those expecting a glorious orgy of organ music, you will be disappointed. Novum has a more modern sheen to it. The style of music here is, for the most part, pretty straight forward rock 'n roll with Brooker's piano at the forefront.

I did find a few tracks in the early half of the album, such as "Last Chance Motel" and "Don't Get Caught" to be a bit pedestrian, but the song writing is solid enough throughout the album to keep things from getting too dull. A couple of tracks do try a more ballady style with Brooker crooning at his piano. Of these, "The Only One" stands out. "Sunday Morning" is also pretty strong, occasionally echoing old school Harum.

Overall, Novum delivers a solid set. The album is not one that I see myself revisiting often, but I would not classify it as a disappointment per se.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the beautiful cover art, credited to Julia Brown Illustration. One of the finest album covers I've seen this year.

Highlights: "Image of the Beast", "Neighbour", "Sunday Morning", "Businessman", "Can't Say That", "The Only One"

FunkyM | 3/5 |

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