Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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The Keith Reid Project - The Common Thread

Review by Urban Wallstrom, online


The Common Thread here would be sophisticated soft rock and Keith Reid of course. The latter mostly known as the co-founding member of 60s act, Procol Harum. He's responsible for co-writing all those smash hits including all-time classic, A Whiter Shade of Pale [which by the way 'Doro' absolutely butchered on one of her records - the worst cover version of a song, ever!!!].

Mr Reid has gathered together a impressive group of singers and songwriters to help him out with the project. Lead vocalists are: John Waite (The Babys, Bad English), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earth Band), New Jersey legend Southside Johnny, Terry Reid, Steve Booker, Bernie Shanahan, Chaz Jankel, and Michael Saxell.

First to bat, John Waite and the opening track In God's Shadow. A truly smashing midtempo tune/ballad, which just as easily could have been a Bad English song. It's very similar to those past hits and you might just recognize the by now familiar songwriting formula of Waite. Next, the original version of You're The Voice, which John Farnham sang to the world in 1986. Reid co-wrote it together with Chris Thompson and the latter sings his heart out here.

The verse of the title track reminded me a lot of the Soul classic, If You Don't Know Me By Now. Originally a Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes hit back in the seventies, Simply Red made it popular again in the late eighties. Sung by the great Michael Saxell, this is definitely R&B/Soul in the old school of things. Potters Field is a marvellous acoustic guitar ballad inspired by traditional folk and rock music. Close your eyes and you can imagine this being done by Bruce Springsteen. Venus Exploding is another fine ballad sung by Bernie Shanahan and ditto regarding It Might Be Your Heart (vocals: Chris Thompson), even if the latter is kinda sappy though.

Final Verdict: Remove a couple of really horrible fillers and you'll end up with a decent CD. Do not expect this to sound like traditional hardrock or anything though. It's laidback, classic rock, with R&B/Soul influences.

The album can be pre-ordered, as of 1 September 2008, from Amazon UK: shipping from 15 September: click here

 


The Common Thread The Keith Reid Project

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