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Procol Harum - Home CD (album) cover


Procol Harum


Crossover Prog

3.54 | 157 ratings

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3 stars After "Salty Dog", organist par excellence Matthew Fisher departed PROCOL HARUM, which was surprising on the surface because he seemed to be slowly gaining influence, having co-written and sung lead on three tracks on his swan song. Gary Brooker pulled a few strings and brought old friend Chris Copping into the fray. While not as gifted as Fisher, he was accomplished enough to deliver Procol's trademark organ phrasings while perhaps meshing better with the group's new found direction in blues-influenced downer music. It's not as bad as it sounds though, and while "Home" is uneven and contains plenty of filler, it also counts several of the group's best cuts.

The band jackrabbits out of the gate with "Whisky Train", in which Trower and the group finally marry their individual visions. A non stop hard rocker with aggressive vocals by Brooker and incisive leads by Trower, it is also a showcase for B.J Wilson who sparkles on percussion. "Still There'll be More" is a more melodic up tempo piece with frighteningly misogynist lyrics and perhaps Trower's best solo as a band member. He has thankfully shed the fuzzbox quality that helped sink "Shine on Brightly". Other superb numbers are the atypically acoustic "Nothing I didn't Know", the morbidly static "About To Die", with Trower extending himself beyond the Hendrixian, and the bouncy closer "Your Own Choice", with Trower again shining in a twisted way and a brilliant harmonica fade out.

Unfortunately, the remaining tracks are all failures even if they don't sound out of place - Whaling Stories is a shrill pretentious mess, like "A Salty Dog" without editing. Narratives were hit and miss with this group. So, while the highlights outnumber those on "Salty Dog", the disappointments do as well. Nonetheless, the group was clearly in it for the long haul, and would not be entering the rest home anytime soon.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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