Saturday, January 15, 2011

Uriah Heep - Only Human

Uriah Heep may have a relatively small following but a very dedicated one, and it must be nice having that to fall back on. Whenever they feel like releasing a new album they know it well sell well enough to make a profit, and, more importantly, get the attention they desire to share whatever message they want with an audience who are sure to appreciate it. That sounds like a good life.

Uriah Heep has existed for forty years now. Considering the band has gone through seven drummers, six vocalists, six bass players, and five keyboard players, it is impressive that guitarist Mick Box hung in there and really stuck to the name Uriah Heep for forty years.

To “Celebrate” the forty year voyage, Uriah Heep released a fortieth year anniversary album called “Celebration.” It was a fourteen track album consisting of twelve classic songs from their early years and two original songs. All twelve reprised tracks, including last month’s music in review “Lady in Black” sound as good as or better than the original recordings. Every track is more refined largely due to the fact that the overall quality of production is better, which makes sense; recording technology has improved dramatically in the past forty years. Also it is nice to hear the modern line up record studio versions of the classics they have been performing live for years.

The first track on the album is “Only Human,” and predictably it was the first track I heard on the new album. It was a catchy song, simple in design like most of the Uriah Heep classics, and thoroughly pleasant. The chorus runs smoothly and upon the third listen, or so, I started hearing the verses more explicitly. I had heard many of these phrases before and at first I dismissed them as coincidence until they ran together in a way that was clearly a message I had heard from someone before, and that really meant something to me. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the song.

This is one of those feel good about your life songs, strength comes from within, and your dreams can come true, kind of songs. It’s a very good and pretty damn rocking for a bunch of guys in their sixties. I was impressed, not a lot of bands can produce really good material after forty years. Most people just run out of ideas... they’re “only human after all.” Being able to create even one new gem to the hit list is very impressive for a band as old as Uriah Heep it’s almost worth celebrating over. All in all “Celebration” was one of my favourite albums of 2010, very well done you old rock and roll souls, very well done.

Until next month keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly

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