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47
4.3 out of 5 stars
Blue Horizon
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£9.96+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2014
Blimey. And we thought the last album marked a return to form.... well, this one knocks Elegant Stealth into a cocked hat.

Who'd have believed that some 45 years on Wishbone Ash would still be making music as vital as this? Of course there was only one Argus, but there's a compelling case here for suggesting that of all their subsequent output 'Blue Horizon' might just be the album that comes closest to the feel and atmosphere of those heady days of the early 1970s.

Bluesy, rocky, folky, jazzy, the soloing throughout is a joy. OK, you can quibble over some of the vocals which, let's face it, were never the band's strongest suit but when the songs, the playing and the production are this good it hardly seems to matter.

Particular highlights? Take your pick, but the opener "Take It Back" with an insistent riff that achieves lift-off courtesy of Pat McManus's empathetic violin, "Deep Blues", the funky "Strange (How Things Come Back Around)" and the elegant (there's that word again) "All There Is To Say" are immediate winners.

Repeated listening is likely to provide further rewards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2014
Great album, every track a winner.

Had this for some weeks now and still playing the grooves off it.

Also went to see the band live in Newmarket last night, what a band, 2 hours of intricate, unsurpassable, full-on musicianship, played the whole Live Dates album and a few tracks off the new album (would have liked more off the new album...).

This album won't disappoint (unless you hate the Ash obviously!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2014
Wishbone Ash rarely do a bad album but this is the first one to really hit the spot for some time. Some great guitar work from Andy's band
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2014
Great back to basics classic Wishbone Ash can definitely hear a progressive move forward with a nod to the past
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2014
Do you like the early Wishbone Ash albums? Do you like duelling guitars? Do you like harmony guitars? If you answered yes to any of these questions you are on to a winner with Blue Horizon, the latest and 24th studio album from Wishbone Ash.

Whilst Blue Horizon tips its hat to the past, it is most definitely an album for today. The current line-up of Andy Powell, Jyrki "Muddy" Manninen, Bob Skeat and Joe Crabtree can and do play several musical styles with apparent consummate ease and yet they manage to hold it all together with an understated blues rock feel.

Pat McManus features on the opening track, ‘Take It Back’. He winds and weaves the sound of his violin around the twin guitars giving it a very welcome ‘folksy’ undertone. He also does the same for the closing track, All There Is To Say’, where he plays the violin and bouzouki.

The title song, ‘Blue Horizon’ has a more ‘progressive’ feel to it as the wizardry of the twin guitars floats along, at times underpinned by the warm and subtle organ tones of guest musician, Tom Greenwood who also helped with the production of the album.

Lucy Underhill features on ‘Strange How Things Come Back Around’ and ‘American Century’ adding yet another welcome dimension to the already very well established vocal harmonies of Wishbone Ash.

‘All There Is to Say’ closes the album. The progressive tones of the band are once again in evidence here with a very definite nod to the early Wishbone Ash and yet this is every inch, a new and vibrant track with an emotional undertone that I for one feel will endure, remaining in the hearts and minds of both Wishbone Ash fans and rock music fans in general.

I firmly believe this album will very quickly become one of the most recognised, loved and important albums in the Wishbone Ash history, that’s if it’s not already, and so I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this album to all fans of rock music.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2014
After the excellent Elegant Stealth from 2011 I wondered if Blue Horizon could come near it. Well this new album not only matches it, it surpasses it, which really is some achievement. It takes the DNA from Elegant Stealth and very importantly the true spirit and heritage from Wishbone's finest work and creates its own wonderful atmosphere.

By no means a "concept" album but the songs feel like they belong to each other. From the tingle down your spine intro to the opening track Take It Back right through to the final majestic song All There Is To Say, the musical journey is a very satisfying one indeed. As ever the guitar shapes conjured up by Andy & Muddy live and breath as one and they are very much underpinned by Bob Skeat's excellent melodic bass work and Joe Crabtree's distinctive and notable "playing the song" drumming.

Finally the production on Blue Horizon is breathtaking and special mention must go to the all the production team including young British Producer Tom Greenwood's input and skill in helping to achieve that.

Blue Horizon is truly fabulous and deserves the biggest audience possible.................spread the word!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I usually find that albums that don't necessarily appeal to me greatly on the first couple of plays stand a better chance of growing on me and eventually stay with me as a great album that I'll never tire of listening to. I have found that this is one of those albums - and it's still growing on me. Stand-out tracks at present are 'Take It Back', 'Blue Horizon' and 'All There Is To Say' - with more to come, I'm sure. Perhaps there is more of a folk/country influence on this album than others by Wishbone Ash lately, but that suits me fine when combined with the classic rock, twin-guitars style that the band is renowned for.
I'm looking forward to the autumn UK tour to see which tracks have been chosen to play live. Whichever they are, they will sound better now that I am very familiar with the studio album. I must now get back to listening to the album again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2015
Had tuned out for several years, and only recently, on a whim, took the time to listen to this. Was pleasantly surprised by several of the songs, which showed sparks of the old brilliance. Way better than Bona Fide (for example). Glad I bought it!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2014
With all the legal turmoil surrounding the battle for the band's right to it's identity you might expect an introspective and safe album from Andy and the band.

None of it! This album is full of optimism and propels the band into a bright future.

"Take It Back" written by Andy Powell's son Aynsley is the perfect opener for the album setting the mood as one of optimism and the theme as empowerment. The folksy tune with fiddle by guest Pat McManus gives a nod back to the first three Wishbone Ash but as right up to date with intelligent, adult lyrics.

"Deep Blues" is rocking number with a classic Ash riff. The words on the surface about a failed love affair could easily be interpreted as a reference to the battle surrounding the band's ownership of it's name. Andy and Muddy Mannenin as always don't hold back on the guitar solos.

"Strange How Things Come Round Around" is written by ex-guitarist Roger Filgate and is relaxed number. Lucy Underhill adds backing vocals. The only niggle is that the slow, dreamy sections jolt at first and break up the flow of song, but I'm getting used to it now.

"Being One" is proggy and jazzy with some really great guitar work in the extended solos. Like it more and more with every listen.

I wish I'd never heard "Way Down South" - I wake up in the morning with closing solo in my head and it's still there in the evening. The feel and tone of it reminds me a lot of Summer Lightening by Camel. The song with lyrics by Ian Harris is perhaps the poppiest moment on the album and it first the lyrics seem light-weight pop but again they fit perfectly with the theme of empowerment - if you're fed up then it's up to you to make a change. Should be a single.

"Tally Ho!! by Muddy and Ian is another call to arms - it's up to us to stand up to the fat cats if we want a better world. The folksy, slow blues is a perfect antidote to Way Down South, building up to an Argus-esque anthem.

"Mary Jane" is classic blues and is Muddy's lead singing debut. Muddy doesn't prang it. Great stuff!

"American Century" is a complex tune with many twists and turns to keep you guessing. Again Lucy Underhill adds backing vocals. Perhaps the slowest burner on the album - give it time to percolate through your mind.

"Blue Horizon" starts slow with a grandeur and anthemic sound and a wince-making couplet of "I've got my eyes on the blue hor-i-zon" - ouch! The fast guitar solos at the end are brilliant.

The final track "All There Is to Say" is Andy's heart-felt story of the battles that have beset him and the band now resolved in court. The sound is very "Throw Down the Sword". A great finish to the album

Just a quick mention for Bob Skeat and Joe Crabtree. Joe's drumming throughout is truly outstanding. Bob is probably one of the best bassists in the rock world right now and I would have liked to have Bob's bass a little higher in the mix but that's just being pernickety as the production by Tom Greenwood is truly brilliant.

Wishbone Ash just get better and better. Roll on the autumn UK tour
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2014
This is one of WA's better albums (and I have them all), and best since the wonderful "Bona Fide" back in 2000. The "Deep Blues" track alone should be (I hope) an omnipresent fixture in their live set.
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