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"Facing the world on your own",
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This review is from: In the Eye of the Storm (Audio CD)
Am I supposed to like an album whose opening sound is that of a screaming baby? Thankfully the screams don't last too long. Barely a couple of years after Supertramp's `break-up', Roger Hodgson released this, his first solo album. This is a review of the remastered version. There are no extras.
For me Hodgson was the better half of the key Supertramp duo. It was he and Rick Davies who wrote all the songs. But whereas Rick's would concentrate largely on the problems of his love-life and be written in usually in the first-person, Hodgson's songs were more objective, related to the wider world, and displayed more of a social conscience. Consequently this album is far better than the Rick Davies-led Supertramp that attempted to keep the group's light shining in the 1980s.
Hodgson, however, writes, arranges, plays, and produces virtually everything on this album, which is fine as far as it goes, but this also means there is no-one to rein him in when he indulges himself too far, such as the excessive repetitions in the song `Give Me Love, Give Me Life'. This is for me the worse track on the album. The best is the last, `Only Because Of You' with its grand sweeping gestures. It's a shame that Hodgson did not engage a real orchestra, such as often appeared effectively on Supertramp albums of the 70s.
Yet Hodgson does blatantly carry on the Supertramp-sound, including some of those used by Rick Davies. This is noticeable, for example, at the start of `Hooked on a Problem' with its stuttering keyboards and, later, appearance of woodwind. Strangely, the lyrics of this song hint at the band's break-up: "Hey don't you ever get lonely ... Facing the world on your own."
All in all, then, this is `Supertramp Continued' in its finest tradition. I like it; four stars.