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Now
Format: Audio CDChange
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2004
It has been nearly 10 years since Peter Frampton’s last studio album, and it is unfortunate that we have had to wait so long for it to materialise. Though this ‘comeback’ album is a good effort of the standard we are accustomed to from Peter, it is hardly the ‘magnum opus’ that one might have expected after a decade’s virtual silence. The sound of the album is quite basic and stripped-down, being essentially loud electric guitars (or ringing acoustic guitars), bass and drums, with subtle keyboard textures, the band being the same as that featured on Frampton’s 1999 ‘Live in Detroit’ concert album – Bob Mayo from the 1976 ‘Comes alive’ album, John Regan (another longstanding Frampton associate), and Chad Cromwell the regular drummer with Mark Knopfler. There is little of the synthesizer overdubbing previously used on albums such as ‘I’m in you’ and Frampton’s 1994 studio album; the sound is very much that of the live band, but performing in the studio.
The songs are typical Frampton – mostly not particularly memorable at first hearing, but pleasant enough to grow on you when heard several times. Stylistically the album covers Peter’s usual territory of acoustic guitar ballads and heavier R&B influenced rock, and listeners hoping for much innovation or experimentation would be disappointed – this is standard Frampton material, and though it is done well one can’t help wondering why it took so long for the record to be completed. For me the most satisfying moments are when Peter departs a little from his usual formula, and performs a powerful version of George Harrison’s ‘While my guitar gently weeps’, followed by ‘Greens’, a long instrumental piece reminiscent of some of Jeff Beck’s ‘jazz-rock’ work in the mid-70s. On these two tracks the extended guitar solos are somewhat more eloquent than in the rest of the album, and are a reminder of Frampton’s past track record as a very tasteful and melodic electric guitar soloist.
For anyone not already familiar with Frampton’s work, this would probably not be the best place to start, although for the committed fan it will be an essential purchase. I feel that with its generally simple musical arrangements it is a good complement to the 1994 ‘Peter Frampton’ album (his previous studio album), which is more complex in its arrangements and is possibly a more carefully crafted album. Consequently I recommend that the listener should not buy one without the other, and along with the Detroit live album these two studio recordings would give a good representation of where Peter Frampton really is at ‘Now’.
It should be noted that the German edition of ‘Now’ contains three extra tracks compared with the original American edition. This extended edition on the Framptone / SPV label, with 14 songs and a total length of just over an hour, is a particularly good bargain, and much better than the 11-track US edition. (All credits and vocals are of course in English.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2004
A new studio album has been a long time coming from Mr Frampton and there is some great material here for melodic rockers to enjoy.
Mr Frampton always had, and still has, a God-given gift for expressive lead guitar. Check out the jazzy Mia Rose track. The Framptone sound still sounds as great as it did on the 1970s Frampton Comes Alive set. He plays a blistering beautiful “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” with a fantastic intro humming out from those Les Paul Humbuckers.
As guitar tracks go, “Greens” is my absolute favourite which mirrors the great creative writing partnership Peter had with the now late Bob Mayo.
Some of the tracks take a little time to grow on you, but the man has done his time, eaten his greens, and is back in fine form producing some gorgeous music. Great to have you back Peter!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2005
It has been nearly 10 years since Peter Frampton’s last studio album, and it is unfortunate that we have had to wait so long for it to materialise. Though this ‘comeback’ album is a good effort of the standard we are accustomed to from Peter, it is hardly the ‘magnum opus’ that one might have expected after a decade’s virtual silence. The sound of the album is quite basic and stripped-down, being essentially loud electric guitars (or ringing acoustic guitars), bass and drums, with subtle keyboard textures, the band being the same as that featured on Frampton’s 1999 ‘Live in Detroit’ concert album – Bob Mayo from the 1976 ‘Comes alive’ album, John Regan (another longstanding Frampton associate), and Chad Cromwell the regular drummer with Mark Knopfler. There is little of the synthesizer overdubbing previously used on albums such as ‘I’m in you’ and Frampton’s 1994 studio album; the sound is very much that of the live band, but performing in the studio.
The songs are typical Frampton – mostly not particularly memorable at first hearing, but pleasant enough to grow on you when heard several times. Stylistically the album covers Peter’s usual territory of acoustic guitar ballads and heavier R&B influenced rock, and listeners hoping for much innovation or experimentation would be disappointed – this is standard Frampton material, and though it is done well one can’t help wondering why it took so long for the record to be completed. For me the most satisfying moments are when Peter departs a little from his usual formula, and performs a powerful version of George Harrison’s ‘While my guitar gently weeps’, followed by ‘Greens’, a long instrumental piece reminiscent of some of Jeff Beck’s ‘jazz-rock’ work in the mid-70s. On these two tracks the extended guitar solos are somewhat more eloquent than in the rest of the album, and are a reminder of Frampton’s past track record as a very tasteful and melodic electric guitar soloist.
For anyone not already familiar with Frampton’s work, this would probably not be the best place to start, although for the committed fan it will be an essential purchase. I feel that with its generally simple musical arrangements it is a good complement to the 1994 ‘Peter Frampton’ album (his previous studio album), which is more complex in its arrangements and is possibly a more carefully crafted album. Consequently I recommend that the listener should not buy one without the other, and along with the Detroit live album these two studio recordings would give a good representation of where Peter Frampton really is at ‘Now’.
It should be noted that the German edition of ‘Now’ contains three extra tracks compared with the original American edition. This extended edition on the Framptone / SPV label, with 14 songs and a total length of just over an hour, is a particularly good bargain, and much better than the 11-track US edition. (All credits and vocals are of course in English.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2010
Bought because of the great cover version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", I sat back and enjoyed every single track including possibly the weakest song "Cleveland". A tad overpriced - but if you want it then you'll buy it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2004
Its taken me a little while to get into this CD, but now, I play it all the time, mainly when I'm bathing the kids (my ten year old loves it) and as the barbecue season approaches this CD will make ideal back ground music. There is a lot I like about this CD, but it does lack the guitar hero element for which Peter is famous. I would have also liked to have heard the Peter Frampton voice box or what ever its called. In my opinion, this CD is for easy rather than serious listening, but its good stuff anyway. I got my copy of this CD from Amazon.de as you get extra tracks. I'm really pleased to own a copy!
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on 3 September 2013
Loved the album A very good listen he still must be ranked in the top guitarists lists especially playing live this album has some very mellow moments too.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2005
This CD is a tremendous surprise - well crafted is the description that comes to mind. The whole work is beautifully put together - every song has a feeling of completeness - the space left in the soundscape contributing to the impact of the sublime playing and singing. The songs range from classy rockers thro` to acoustic ballads all with thoughtful lyrics.
The only fault in my view is the single cover song - George Harrison`s While my guitar gently weeps which I could do without as it is not a great version as does not match the rest of the collection. This is a mature piece of work by a master craftsman who knows how to express himself - very rare these days - so buy it and savour the songs over time. More please Mr Frampton!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2004
Its taken me a little while to get into this CD, but now, I play it all the time, mainly when I'm bathing the kids (my ten year old loves it) and as the barbecue season approaches this CD will make ideal back ground music. There is a lot I like about this CD, but it does lack the guitar hero element for which Peter is famous. I would have also liked to have heard the Peter Frampton voice box or what ever its called. In my opinion, this CD is for easy rather than serious listening, but its good stuff anyway. I got my copy of this CD from Amazon.de as you get extra tracks. I'm really pleased to own a copy!
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