Sorry if the following is a bit long, but I donâ€™t want anyone to misunderstand me.
Some of Glenn's early comments during recording had made me wonder very slightly if I might find the album too 'un-funky' or too samey given that I usually prefer Glenn's funkier albums and ones that mix up his different styles.
Bear in mind, however, that I'd also avoided reading any of the reviews, comments etc made by anyone (including Glenn's comments on each track on the Melodic Rock site).
On very first hearing the album at home on the stereo (while packing for a week in Spain) it sounded really promising.
But once I got it on the walkman next to the pool in the blazing sun (not that Iâ€™m labouring the holiday point or anything, LOL) the misgivings started & I wondered if it had sounded better the first time because I was doing other things while it played.
'In my Blood' was (and is) great, but the '16th C Greensleevesiness' of the riff to 'In the Zone' was slightly unsettling.
From there on, probably until 'Courageous' (fantastic song from the word go) I actually found some of it a bit, well, underwhelming - lacking a bit of 'sparkle'. A bit 'classic rock' by numbers. A bit HTP without the T. (And given that I like HTP but am not a HUGE fan, that's not that good a thing for me!)
I quite liked â€˜Changeâ€™, though on my walkman the first time Glenn sings the word â€˜changeâ€™ in the first chorus, it sounded like he said â€˜CAKEâ€™. LOL!!! (Perhaps I was hungryâ€¦.)
Another track that I did immediately like was â€˜The Truthâ€™. I particularly love that Motownish â€˜on the ONEâ€™ chorus. And while â€˜Wherever I Goâ€™ is reminiscent of â€˜You Fool No-oneâ€™, I liked it straight away too.
Soâ€¦I listened to it againâ€¦ and felt the same. But then I left it a couple of days and every time Iâ€™ve played it since, itâ€™s got a bit better.
I still think the riff to â€˜Zoneâ€™ is a bit too close to â€˜16th Greensleevesâ€™ for me to enjoy it properly, and Iâ€™m not mad about â€˜Gasolineâ€™ or â€˜Higher Placesâ€™. I think theyâ€™re OK now though and they do have a BIT of sparkle!
â€˜Get you Stonedâ€™ is nice â€˜nâ€™ groovy, though quite like several previous funky-style Glenn songs â€“ could be a lot worse!!!! And I have to admit that the song that has grown on me most is â€˜Written on Your Faceâ€™. Given the length and semi â€™epicâ€™ nature of the song, this may be what makes all the difference to the more positive way I feel about the whole album now.
â€˜Standing on the Rockâ€™ is still a bit too much like a lot of other ex-Purple family out-and-out rockers, but at least itâ€™s nice & powerful and it uses Glennâ€™s voice very well!
So, to round up, I love â€˜In my Bloodâ€™, â€˜Courageousâ€™, â€˜Changeâ€™, â€˜The Truthâ€™ and â€˜Wherever I Goâ€™ & the rest is at least OK to good. (I also have to say that even on the first listen, the final minute of the album was everything everyone else has said it is!!!!!)
The only actual minor (kind of) complaint Iâ€™m left with is that the album seems to divide into 2 distinct halves (as some of the reviews â€“ which Iâ€™ve now read â€“ have pointed out). Itâ€™s almost like a rock half followed by a more varied half and Iâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s the best way to do it.
Ultimately then, not my favourite Glenn album â€“ for my taste I still prefer â€˜Feelâ€™, â€˜BTMâ€™, â€˜TWIIâ€™, â€˜I & Pâ€™ and â€˜ROCKâ€™, but more than a good addition to Glennâ€™s canon. Now all weâ€™ve got to do is get him to play some of it live!!!!! (And BTM. And TWII. And ROCK.)
PS Has anyone commented on the giveaway â€˜68â€™ reference in â€˜Courageousâ€™?
That seems fair Top Cat. Okay, I know I said I wouldnâ€™t, but I started typing about what I thought and it turned into a virtual review. So I filled it out and thought Iâ€™d post it anyway. Send your postcard to the usual address marked â€œHypocriteâ€?.....
SITKOR starts off with:
â€œIn My Bloodâ€?, opening with an organ intro and Glenn singing loosely over it. It then kicks in big time with a rumbling bassline and driving riff and Glenn switches to rock mode. Damn heâ€™s sounding good on this one already. The full arsenal of Hughes power notes is on display, before you are whisked to
â€œLost In the Zoneâ€?. Glenn sings low and the track bounces along to the chorus when Glenn does his mellow-up-to-power trick with his voice (or â€œwhisper to a screamâ€? as Coverdale calls it, putting it much more eloquently than me). I canâ€™t comment about the 16th Century Greensleeves comparison because itâ€™s probably been a decade since I heard that track. It sounds like a GH track to me. We move to
â€œGasolineâ€? which is one of my personal favourites. Cracking riff, awesome rock vocal from Glenn, screams, shrieks and all, a real Mark Three feel. Alex Ligertwood shines on this with his backing singing. My dad thought the riff was like â€œCold Sweatâ€? by Thin Lizzy. I suppose it is a bit, but the riff doesnâ€™t make up the bulk of this song like â€œCold Sweatâ€?. Quality Blackmore-esque solo from JJ (I presume). We are then taken to
â€œHigher Placesâ€?. The Zeppelin feel is obvious and deliberate. Glenn sings marvellously over the pounding drum beat and the song revolves around a mellow chorus. Unbeknown to you, you havenâ€™t heard the last of this as you flick to
â€œGet You Stonedâ€?. Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers takes over drumming duties for this one. I donâ€™t much care for the Peppers, but he does a fine job on this. The funk influence is clear here and Glenn alters his voice accordingly (God I wish I could do that.......). The chorus is a cheeky one that creeps up on you and you find yourself humming it without thinking about it. It always sounds like this song belonged to TWII, but maybe thatâ€™s just me. The next song is
â€œWritten All Over Your Faceâ€? which just meanders itâ€™s way beautifully to Glennâ€™s vocal which is delivered in a similar vein to some of the Alchemist. Glenn really is using everything heâ€™s got on this CD. Itâ€™s a lovely song but stretches out too long for my taste. The idea was to write an epic track but I feel it digresses too much before finding itâ€™s way back to the chorus to finish up. After these more mellow tracks we get
â€œStanding On The Rockâ€? which hammers out of the speakers at blistering pace. I canâ€™t think of any Glenn solo song that flies along at this pace off the top of my head. Glenn sings with a twang before unleashing the Voice Of Rock. Sheer quality. After this relentless assault we are offered
â€œCourageousâ€?. Here we have a real wild card. Itâ€™s nothing like anything else on the album, but it is simply STUNNING. It just unfolds from a neat little guitar part and a gentle vocal from Glenn, before the bassline picks up the riff and moves things along. It picks up again before hitting you with a multi layered Glenn chorus (unless thatâ€™s Alex bulking it out). It a Hughes gem, no question. It has single potential too, but lets dwell in the realms of fantasy (quality songs and musicians have no place in the singles chart). This is what CD repeat buttons were invented for! Next up is
â€œChangeâ€?. The awesome Billy Sheehan picks up the bass for this but itâ€™s not particularly noticeable. I think this is the weakest cut on the CD, but itâ€™s by no means a duff tune. I think following â€œCourageousâ€? did it no favours. Itâ€™s uptempo but the chorus just doesnâ€™t click for me. No matter, as
â€œThe Truthâ€? comes on. We slow down for what could almost be a power ballad, but I feel that term just brings to mind hairspray bubblegum US rock bands trying for a hit. This is a mature piece of songwriting and grows on you with every play. Again, Glennâ€™s built in sensor for how to deliver the perfect vocal is working just fine. Deceptively catchy. Finally the CD comes to
â€œWherever You Goâ€?. There is a feel of â€œYou Fool No Oneâ€? especially on the vocal. Because of that you automatically like it (providing you like YFNO of course!) Itâ€™s still original enough to be a Glenn song in itâ€™s own right however. Just as it grinds to a halt Glenn springs a surprise (but I think everybody knows about it by now) and there â€˜s a minutes worth of â€œHigher Placesâ€? as a reprise.....just organ and Glenn singing pretty much as only Glenn can. Class.
So thatâ€™s it. On the whole, I find it gets better with every listen and I hope it to challenge â€œFeelâ€?, â€œTWIIâ€? and â€œAddictionâ€? as my favourite solo CDâ€™s. Glenn done good!
"How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"
ps I make no apologies for my length.
Of review that is......
Nice review James, though (as everyone now knows) I'm SLIGHTLY less enthusiastic myself!
There's an awful lot of regulars awfully quiet considering there's a new Glenn album out!
Waiting for the Euro release chaps & chappesses?
PS If 'Courageous' is anything to go by, I'm praying for that Shape 68 deal/album/tour/2nd album etc....
Thanks! I think the reason I embraced this was because I clicked with it better than I did with Building The Machine, TC. BTM is good, but I kind of tune out after "When You Fall" and the last bit of the album doesn't keep my attention.
I knew HTP would be good (I'd been dreaming of this pairing for years) because I knew how undervalued JLT was. Many people on this board had no knowledge of the post "Slaves And Masters" work he'd done, and I think he surprised a few people with how rocky he can get, so there was never any doubt I'd love HTP.
BTM was hyped and I think my expectations were too high. The hype for SITKOR was backed up by a belting Melodic Rock review and some soundbytes that immediately made me play them again and again until I was singing along, namely ""Courageous", "Gasoline" and "Standing On The Rock". When I played SITKOR I was already joining in with these tunes and it felt like I'd had the album ages.
Just my feelings anyway. It's meant to be a rock album, but the funk is still there if you look for it. ROCK is Glenn's best selling solo CD, and in my view, the weakest. It sounds like Glenn obligated to make a rock album. This sounds like Glenn WANTS to make a rock album on the back of the success and fun he's had with HTP. It suits me!
"How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"
Thanks to all for the reviews. This is the longest I've had to wait for a new Hughes release since "Feel". I have both the Japanese and Euro releases preordered- but niether (Jap) has showed up at my door yet! Anxiously waiting...
I always thought the motto 'why make it easy when you can make it difficult' only applied to working in the NHS but of course it now extends to music!
I've attempted to buy SITKOR at WHSmith, can you believe the only local record store, only to be told it's on Cargo and they 'don't use them, but I can leave a small deposit and we'll try and order it' - which basically means if they can, I've to wait a further eight days
I do have a paypal account, but only ever used it on ghpg.net so can someone enlighten me as to how such a mere mortal as myself can actually buy it, before I scream with frustration? Talk about being left out in the cold!
Unfortunately that's not surprisng Shirl....
I'm told they acually had several copies in HMV in Leeds - which is itself pretty surprising. I assume you don't have a credit or switch card or a good, good friend with one to buy it online?
Not sure how many online CD places take paypal esp in Europe - is it the European version you particularly want?
http://www.101cd.com take paypal & have it for £13.99. I think they've been pretty quick for me in the past. Think their P&P is a quid or something.
If this doesn't help let us know & we'll try summat else.
Many thanks for that, TC. My brother's put down a deposit and attempting to order it for me - he'll know by Saturday. No HMV here any more which is a serious bummer. Will order it from the site you mentioned, if all else fails (had a quick look - off topic quickly - noticed St Anger - anyone got it? Tight, very tight) Or I could just wait another TWO WEEKS when I go to Manchester ... The version I'd really like is the one titled Songs In The Key Of Rock!!! Any!!
You got an email address, TC?
Well having had SITKOR for a coulple of weeks now my review is summed up in one word.....
It was well worth the wait.
omggggggg i want canon rock tabs can someone give me them?
SITKOR is probably my favourite album by Glenn, alongside BTM. It has brilliant playing on it, extraordinary songs (that keep on spinning in your head long aftewards) with good structures and good hooks, a real 70's Glenn kind of feel. As Glenn said back then "I surrounded myself with 70s stuff to get into that vibe, that feel again". It worked and very much so
I often find it rather sad that none of the songs are on current setlists anymore, as they are really top notch.
"In my blood" would still be a brilliant opener. "Higher Places" has that "Zep-Vibe" that they so much tried to re-create on BCC 1. This song would fit tremendously into the BCC context and live sets. As well as "Written All Over Your Face" and particulary "Wherever You Go" which would even give the chance for Glenn and Joe B to sing together.
I really love this album and probably it had that classic rock kind of vein as it was around the same time when the HTP project (with similar music) was done.
totally agree with you.. the best Glenn studio album.. but we must wait the next one
Thanks, Stormy That's what I thought too. It looks like the next album could in be that kind of vein again and so I'm really looking forward to it!
agree again... can't wait this new studio album... good vibrations...
SITKOR is my favourite GH solo album, too. "In My Blood", "Higher Places", "Lost in the Zone" and "Written All Over Your Face" are among my favourite songs ever, especially "Written All Over Your Face".
I love HTP, too, this was a step in the right direction, but maybe JLT wasn't the right person for collaboration - he is too pop rock singer.
But BCC - that is the right band for Glenn!
I'm looking forward to new Glenn solo album - i hope it will be like SITKOR, even better.