Procol Harum

the Pale 

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'Novum' review

Thanos • May 2017 • Grande Rock • online here

2017 marks the fifteth anniversary for Procol Harum since the release of their début homonymous [sic] album. Yeah, you got it right… fifty friggin years and the band is still around! Of course, the only original member is Gary Brooker (vocals, piano), but either way you see it, the band’s name is still alive.

The last time Procol Harum released a studio album was in 2003. So fourtrenn years after, they return with Novum, which is also the first album that does not feature lyrics by Keith Reid, the band’s exclusive lyricist since day one. This time the lyrics were written by Pete Brown (best known for his collaboration with Cream and Jack Bruce) and Gary himself. There many [sic] opinions around about Gary’s vocals, but the guy sounds decent enough, especially if we consider the fact that he’s over sevetyt years old. Yes, he doesn’t sound like he used to back in the late 60s or 70s, but that’s inevitable when a guy is aged. Producer Dennis Weinreich has delivered a great warm 'analog-like' production in the album.

There are several fine tracks in the album that move on the classic rock path with the apt bluesy influences. The ballads are OK too – especially the wonderful The Only One that shows that Procol Harum can deliver refined ballads no matter what. It must also be pointed out that guitarist Geoff Whitehorn (If, Crawler) shines throughout the album. I heard some of you ask if there was a need for this album to be released … and I have to say 'yes', if Gary and the other members felt that way, cuz music is self-expression for the musicians first and foremost. Nonetheless, Novum is more than a decent album by a fabled band that has been in the music scene for fifty years now …

  About the album Get Novum: Amazon UK / Amazon USA


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