Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

Novum

Reviewed by Alan Clayson in RnR magazine July 2017


Fundamentally, it's still guitar, bass, drums and even A Whiter Shade of Pale Hammond organ plus, of course, the constant of Gary Brooker's piano and vocal. Its trademark 'crackle' picks the bones of meaning from librettos that seem to be principally the work not of Brooker's long-time songwriting collaborator Keith Reid, but Pete Brown, destined to be best remembered for creating songs for Cream with Jack Bruce.

However, Gary proves to be no slouch as a wordsmith himself on the closing Somewhen, effectively an entirely solo track while Soldier, also composed without Brown, holds its own among eleven selections that bely a common trait of acts of their vintage that meticulous modern production values disguise falling standards of composition.

Indeed, The Only One, Don't Get Caught and amusing Neighbour might be among the most memorable songs spawned by the group since the close in the mid-1970s of its 'imperial' period enabled Gary and his moveable feast of musicians to find a level whereby they could retain Procol diehards while accruing a sufficient turnover of younger fans capable of mouthing the words to Soldier or The Only One as accurately as those of the ancient hits.

[Four stars]


  About the album Get Novum: Amazon UK / Amazon USA

 

Reviews of this album

Reviews of more Procol Harum albums


Procol Harum albums


PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home