Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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'Novum' review

Gary Hill at Music Street Journal online here June 2017


Procol Harum's brand of folk prog has always been among the most treasured. This brand new set of music should please fans of the group. It is timeless in its Procol Harum stylings. This feels like it could have come from almost any period of the band's history. It's an exceptionally strong album with no mis-steps.

Track by Track Review

I Told On You

Starting on piano, this turns out into a cool folk rock rocker that's decidedly Procol Harum. Really, there is no missing who this is. It's a killer cut with some interesting changes and intriguing hooks.

Last Chance Motel
This balladic kind of cut has a lot of that folk prog element. I can hear some hints of the Kinks on this, but also some country music.

Image Of The Beast
On the one hand, there is a bit more of a bluesy hard rock element here. The other side of the coin, though, is that this is one of the most decidedly proggy things here. It's a cool tune however you label it. The instrumental sections are particularly tasty.

Soldier
This feels like something that would have been right at home in the original era of the band. It's a mellower cut that works really well.

Don't Get Caught
I like the mix of slightly mellower and more rocking stuff here. This is a great tune. In fact, it might be my favorite here. It's very much in line with the classic era of the band.

Neighbour
The organ sound brings more of that classic Procol Harum element. This a bouncy, rather playful styled number that works well. It's not one of my favorites, though.

Sunday Morning
A mellower cut, this is very much a traditional Procol Harum kind of piece. It has a lot of folk rock built into it, but plenty of proggy elements, too.

Businessman
One of the most decidedly proggy cuts, this is one of my favorites here. It's a bit more of a pure rocker, too.

Can't Say That
Another that lands more on the rocking and proggy end of the spectrum, this is another highlight of the disc. It's works quite well. The shifts and changes on this thing really bring the prog home to roost. The extended instrumental section late in the piece is a powerhouse.

The Only One
Piano starts this, and the cut grows out as an old school balladic piece. The song gets more musical elements and takes on more progressive rock tendencies as it grows. The acoustic guitar solo mid-track makes me think of Mark Knopfler for some reason. This is definitely one of the standouts of the disc.

Somewhen
Piano comes first on this one, too. The vocals join, and the cut works forward with that arrangement. This one never rises beyond that original concept, remaining the most sparse and mellow track of the set. It's not sure it's best suited to ending the disc, but it is a good song.


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