got my promo copy of HTP2 this week's Monday (Vielen Dank Sebastian/MTM)and I've listening to it since, non-stop...well some of you know how I am...I don't know - whether I'm a bit GH/JLT freak and I should be hospitalized or this is a VERY good album.
Perhaps this is even better than HTP album number 1. Time will tell....
here are some of my thoughts:
Revelation - Reminds me of SITKOR's faster songs or perhaps Can't Stop The Flood played in full speed. Very aggressive vocals from both singers. Perfect starter.
Alone I Breathe - slower version of Devil's Road. Something that Joe and Glenn do the best - very basic, hard rock song. Long and tasty guitar solo with some wah wah - but where are keyboards?
Losing My Head - Glenn singing verses with very painful voice and choruses with very soft tone like a loony... then in the end of the song he really looses his head and screams like a male gorilla (in search for female). Steve Vai's guitar solo is interesting, I would love to hear Glenn on his album...hint,hint,hint...
Going my Way - Better man returns in this song that would have been on Joe's latest solo album. I wonder how they write these huge choruses?
Hold On - A lot of air and space in this song. Reminds me of David Lee Roth's Skyscraper with guitar playing from Jimi Hendrix's version of All Along The Watchtower. I love the way they sing:"Hold Oooooooon..." Shane's drum work is also very good, like those fills a lot.
Lost Dreams - listen this song if you want to learn how to make simple, but very good vocal harmonies. Glenn and Joe are sort of having a conversation or telling a story to us...Glenn with softer tone and Joe with rougher, more convincing tone - like:" yeah that's the way it is!". and guitar solo part...JJ you're the MAN!!! I thing JJ is the P in HTP.
Time And Time Again - Joe has been solving the mystery of the heart on the street of dreams...and he returns there Time And time Again.
Goodbye Friday - this is today's version of Lady Double Dealer - freight train rock'n'roll - don't try to stop this! I'd like to hear this one live!
Burning The Sky - velvet mood - both singers have been talking how they would like to make a soul and funk album. This is a teaser of what we would get later. Heaven's missing an Angel, but softer and perhaps even more beautiful.
I play this to my wife when she complains that those guys are just screaming....
Sofia - Hypnotic drum and bass thing through the whole song. Guitar and especially keyboards add really nice flavor. One of the best songs on this album - guess this one is the closest thing to any deep purple (MK III) material. You Fool No....nononono ..Sofiaaaaa...again
Let's Talk About It Later - this one could be from Glenn BTM sessions, sounds a lot funkier, groovier than the rest of the material on this album. JJ plays slide guitar!!! Love that chant:"Let's Talk About It Later..." - if this one doesn't make you dance...give your legs to someone else...
My wish is - if Glenn and Joe decide to make a live DVD - get Shane Gaalaas and Ed Roth to play on it - those guys are marvelous musicians! ...and JJ - if he doesn't get recognition of this album - then there is something VERY wrong in music and guitar magazines in this world we live in!!!
T from Finland
ps.review in Finnish can be found from Tuhma's website...very soon.
I thought I'd move my review over here as it was a more appropriate place to put it....so if you've already read it, don't worry, you're not going mental!
Well, I have given HTP II my three listens before delivering my verdict, so for those who are interested, here it is:
The first thing I noticed about HTP II is how good it looked. Darwin Foye has kept the logo (as I hoped he would) as the main feature of the cover, filtered it in Photoshop to give it a lovely metal sheen and incorporated an aqua colour scheme which is extremely eye catching. The inlay reveals some superb photography with some of the best pictures of the lads Iâ€™ve ever seen (especially Joe). A quick scan of the writing teams was almost what I expected.....Hughes/Turner/Marsh mostly, but then I notice three are by Glenn on his own. Interesting - is Big Daddy continuing in his awesome writing form? Having refrained from downloading any mp3â€™s of this CD, the only way to find out is to bang in the CD and press play.
Revelation - comes blasting out with a power riff, a clever hybrid of classic rock with a modern touch. An awesome voice comes bellowing out and it can only belong to Glenn. He sings powerfully, then Joe backs him and it turns nasty, then Glenn goes melodic, then a power chorus - this one has the lot! Joe kicks in for the second verse and you just hang on for the ride. A corker of an opener!
Alone I Breathe - is the first of Glennâ€™s compositions. A dirty, thumping riff and beat, and Joe and Glenn sing together for the majority of the song, merging as only they can. The song bounces you along and you get the feeling this is going to be just as good as HTP, but probably heavier and darker. Only one way to find out as we go to
Losing My Head - Chad Smith pops up on drums after his appearance on SITKOR. His presence on this song is justified, as it reminded me a lot of â€œGet You Stonedâ€? from SITKOR. There were subtle shades of â€œKashmirâ€? in the opening salvo of the verse, then JJ kicks in with a beast of a riff, leading you in the opposite direction before a mellow chorus. Steve Vai guests for the solo but is more restrained than usual, playing superbly rather than filling the solo full of unnecessary notes. Joe takes on more of a role of backing singer on this one and I wondered when he would get to kick in.
Going My Way - answers that question as a throaty â€œOooh yeahâ€? comes out of the speakers. I noticed the bass growling a lot more on this than previous tracks as the riff swirls round the room. Marvellous harmonies on the chorus, and Glenn returns the favour by letting Joe handle the lead. The boys seem more comfortable handling more of the songs each rather than dividing each tune up, and I like the sound better for it.
Hold On - is a classic example, and a superb vocal intro, brief but stunning, leads you into a quality bit of riffing from JJ. This guy gets better on every album. Glenn starts with a velvet vocal before gearing up and handing the next verse to Joe. The vocal intro was merely an appetizer for the chorus. These guys are vocal gods.
Lost Dreams - starts with another powerful riff and bass work and I wondered if there would be any ballads on here. Joe and Glenn sing together and the result is haunting. Glenn takes over for the chorus, and this for me is THE definition of melodic rock. That melody with that riff? Few could manage it so well.
Time and Time Again - is the first ballad of the CD and Joe clearly marks his territory. Very Rainbow-esque, Joe shines. We all know the score by now!
Goodbye Friday - the second Hughes composition and it peps things up again. A great riff with Ed Roth backing it nicely on the keys. This could easily be an orphan from HTP and it got my foot tapping the second it started. One of my favourites!
Burning The Sky - starts with a beautiful example of guitar playing by JJ. Joe sings very well on here, then Glenn appears singing in a voice you usually hear on â€œIncense and Peachesâ€?. To be honest, this would sit quite happily on â€œI & Pâ€?, and as you sit back you just know itâ€™s going to kick off again in a moment......
Keep On Shining (bonus track) - doesnâ€™t disappoint. Shane Gaalaas lets fly on the drums, and itâ€™s full throttle as Joe hammers through the verse. Itâ€™s much like â€œStanding On The Rockâ€? as regards to pace, and I wasnâ€™t surprised to see Jeff Kollman contribute some guitar to it.
Sofia - is another one with Joe and Glenn electing to sing in unison for the verse, and the result is a very effective vibe. Glenn takes the high and Joe the low in the chorus and again it works perfectly. What band on earth has better singers than this?
Letâ€™s Talk About It Later - is the final song and the last Hughes gem. This one really took my by surprise. Another lilting vocal from Glenn over some haunting keyboards and then - what the hell? It sounds like slide guitar? A riff from nowhere appears and Iâ€™ve never heard Glenn write anything like this. Itâ€™s a bit like â€œIn My Time Of Dyingâ€? by Zepellin in feel. Glenn handles this by himself, and I was fully expecting a ballad, but this is SO much more. Glenn touches base on most of his vocal tricks here and I was once again blown away by this manâ€™s talent. Just when you think youâ€™ve heard it all.... JJ adds a great solo and the album fades out.
Wow. Verdict? Brilliant. I think itâ€™s better than HTP, itâ€™s got the lot. What with SITKOR, JLT and now this, I feel rather spoiled. But I kinda like it....
"How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"
I will have to agree with most of what has been said. HTP2 is a great cd - better than the first. While the first one was good, it did sound a bit too derivative of DP/Rainbow, bordering on being a blatant rip-off at times. This second cd sounds more like H-T are forging their own identity, which is good. There is not a bad song on this cd and I like every aspect of it - vocals, music, musicianship, production. The vocal harmonies/melodies are very nice and there are hooks galore - every song grabs you. The harmonies and some of the vocal melodies remind me more of Blades/Shaw at times, though (ie "Losing My Head").
My favorites are "Alone I Breathe", "Hold On, and "Lost Dreams", though it's tough to pick favorites on here. "Time and Time Again" is a good song, but this one falls under the "derivative" category - trying to sound too much like "Street of Dreams/Stone COld". They already did this on the first cd, so I really didn't need to hear it again. It's becoming the cliche Turner ballad now. But that is a minor complaint - it's still a nice tune. And as you two mentioned, JJ is phenomenal on this cd. The guy does get better and better every cd. I am really impressed with him - I am sure he played a big part in writing many of those great riffs on the cd. Gaalass does a great job, too.
As a fan of the funky Hughes, I have to admit that I was not too keen when I first heard of the Hughes-Turner pairing, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the results. I would never have guessed that I would enjoy the two HTP cds so much more than the last few Hughes solo cds - I have been pretty lukewarm on everything he has put out since the great "The Way it is" cd. But HTP2 shows me that Hughes still has it, so I know he'll put out another solo cd I love - probably sooner rather than later.
It seems that my opinion is slightly different from others.
After the two great classic rock albums, HTP and SITKOR, I was a little disappointed at HTP2. The music is definitely more diverse and modern, and each song has a cool part. However, there are no very strong songs. I would rate most of the songs as 7.5-8 out of 10. But, there are no songs I can rate at 9 or 10. I cannot find my favorites yet after listening since last week.
Glennï¾•s vocal is featured more than Joeï¾•s in many of the songs, leaving stronger impression. Furthermore, Glenn (and JJ) is obviously contributing more in songwriting. Thatï¾•s fine with me as a GH fan. But I wanted to hear equal contribution from both singers in all the songs, because their powerful twin lead vocal is the strength of HTP.
As James said, what I really like in the album, though, is the jacket and photos used. And, the album finally started to sink into my brain. I am looking forward to seeing them in live next year.
By the way, the scores on ï¾’BURRN!ï¾“ magazine are 83/86/90. Masa Ito, who is the most influential rock music critic in Japan, commented that HTP2 is better than HTP and their solo albums, and gave ï¾”90ï¾•.
Mebbes I am on my own here, but after 4 plays it is growing slowly on me. This seems less accessible n serious compared to HTP1. The singing on 1 if far superior as on 2 there is alot of shouting early on rather than singing. I do know the worse track tho - Time n Time again. JLT has grown on me as a rock singer but this sounds like so many JLT ballads before. He does them well but this is one too far and hope there is nt another on HTP3,4,5.
Not too much of a funk influence here which IMHO makes any G album sound different.
Mebbes Im wrong but this aint a patch on SITKOR or HTP1. I hope it grows on me so that when HTP tour n place Scotland (-seeGlenns last live chat) I shall be fully ready!!!
See ya all in Bradford
Chris and KO,
I would have to agree with you. Just got HTP2 on Friday, so I'm really only about 2 and a half plays into it. It's a slow grower, but I really don't think it's going to surpass HTP or SITKOR. Those were two home runs out of the ballpark, but 2 seems to be only a single or double. It had to happen at some point, all Glenn albums cannot be the best he's ever done. I think 2 suffers from the infamous sophomore jinx. The other Stone Cold/Street of Dreams influenced JLT ballads of recent vintage (like Anything from Holy Man) have also been alot better, the one on 2 seems to be way too much like Mystery on HTP....which was great. I think it's so much like Mystery of the Heart I can even sing the verse of Mystery over it's verse!!! The tempos are also slower on 2. Also I hate to keep beating the following drum, but the absence of Vince Di Cola is another disappointment of HTP2. Those sizzling Hammond and Synth solos and the intro and co writing of On the Ledge really were the icing on the HTP cake. I haven't heard one thing from Ed Roth that even comes close to Vince on either Sitkor or HTP2. Steve Vai's guest appearance isn't very impressive either, and doesn't make the mark that John Sykes or Paul Gilbert make on HTP. Half the time I forget it's Vai, then I have to rewind it to hear it again just to see if it registers.
Well damn......I'm starting to fall in love with HTP2.....it's very very good.....Sometimes it takes me awhile to get into these CD's.
Finally, after many long weeks (okay 3 and a half ) of waiting, HTP2 dropped through my letterbox on Saturday. I was in two minds about this release. The first HTP album was so good that I wondered how on earth could they match it. This feeling was compounded by reading some reviews which spoke of "nu-metal" riffs. Aarrrghhh - surely not!!! On the other hand, I couldn't wait to rip the shrink-wrap off and turn up to 11.
After listening to the record virtually non-stop over the weekend, one thing is clear - this is one cracker of an album.
On first listen it proves to be a somewhat heavier album than "1", the riff to Revelation in particular. This must be the one that people think is nu-metal. It's certainly very contemporary, but the vocal harmonies firmly anchor it in classic rock territory too.
Don't want to dissect it track by track, but the overriding impressions are :-
1. On the first record I felt that Glenn's vocals were a bit OTT in places, possibly due to the competitive element with JLT. On "II" he is more restrained, and all the better for it. Glenn and JLT sound like a team.
2. JJ Marsh is a revelation. To my ears he has been growing in stature on each release, with SITKOR being a tremendous watermark in his career. Well here, he tops that with a guitar performance that is breathtaking. The solo work in Hold On, Lost Dreams and Sofia is outstanding. Sounding in places like an on-form Michael Schenker, Blackmore or Uli Roth, JJ plays like a man possessed. He's elbowed his way in to my personal top 5 guitarists with this record. He plays exactly what's required for the song, always with a melodic ear, but with a great turn of speed when needed.
3. Personal favourites right now are Hold On, Lost Dreams, Goodbye Friday, Burning the Sky and Sofia.
As on the first record, JLT and Glenn have a solo track each. This to me is the one possible weakpoint on the album. Both tracks leave me wanting a bit more, I want an HTP song as opposed to a JLT or Hughes song. The JLT effort (Time and Time Again) is similar in feel to Mystery of the Heart from HTP1, and it's a good performance. Different enough not to be a complete copy, but if there was a similar track on "3" then the formula would be starting to wear a bit thin. Glenn's track Let's Talk About It Later is a typical funky Hughes stomp, but fine as it is, it sounds like it should be sitting on a Glenn solo album. To my mind, Wherever You Go from SITKOR would have been an ideal HTP song, and Let's Talk About It Later would have fitted perfectly into SITKOR. Still, minor niggles on a fantastic album.
Originally posted by Weissheim:
Glenn's track Let's Talk About It Later is a typical funky Hughes stomp, but fine as it is, it sounds like it should be sitting on a Glenn solo album.
Err, can I (slightly) revise my opinion please.
Let's Talk About It Later isn't fine. It's absolutely superb!!!
Repeated listenings have led me to believe that this is one of the best Hughes tracks of recent years. Mellow vocals over a jazzy intro, then one mutha of a slide riff leads into the stomping verses, then the unusual bridge takes you into the infectiously catchy funky chorus. But the singing! Has he ever sounded this good? Check out the two screams towards the end, one just before the last repetition of the chorus and the other just as the track fades out. Unearthly singing, and utterly unique. Phew!
Still should have been on a Hughes solo album though.