Not great but still fantastic!,
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This review is from: Other World (Audio CD)
PH is back on familiar territory with this album after last year's terrifying "consequences". Favourite themes such as fate, crisis moments, greed, selfishness, perspectives and destiny are revisited here (so it's all light-hearted stuff)! although none of the songs sound stale, in fact the instrumental input from Gary Lucas compliment the songs perfectly. Even the soundscapes that I normally avoid in the PH catalogue are growing on me at each listen.
The dissonant guitar styles are particularly effective throughout with the discordant slashing of PH set against the backdrop of GL's more accomplished melodic performances. Most of the songs are either good or very good while also being unusually accessible and undemanding. The more ambient instrumental pieces provide cushioning between songs or are primers for the songs to come, they are also serious statements in their own right with the rain-soaked "Attar of Roses" being my favourite.
There are two superb tracks however in "This is showbiz" that twists and turns but still hangs together beautifully with GL's guitar sparkling throughout. The narrative paying homage to a perfect moment crystallizing in the crucible of a stage performance resulting in the music now being listened to. The other being "The Kid" again showcasing GL's excellent guitar work, this time the narrative warning of the corruptibility of fame, and again, with the PH vocal sounding as effortless and controlled as ever.
Although there is no doubt that PH has lost a lot of his vocal range over the years with the beautifully ugly aspect of his voice having diminished he still retains a certain grace and control that is far less jarring to the senses. I'm still trying to get to grips with "Reboot" but that will come in time. I'm also intrigued by "A room with 2 views" that may yet become my favourite on the album.
So there you have it, not a brilliancy by any means but nevertheless showcasing two excellent performers and musicians at the top of their careers. I suppose that's why it works so well.
Oh, and as usual.......Can't wait for the next one! Sometime later this year I believe.