Most helpful positive review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2003
Mention Procol Harum to most people and if you don't get a blank stare, you hear "Oh, yeah, they did that Whiter Shade of Pale song, right?"
Mention they have a great new album and you may hear "You're kidding, those dinosaurs are still around?"
Part of Procol Harum's problem has always been that they have been identified with a song that is admittedly one of the finest songs ever to come out of the sixties. Most people just don't even know that they did anything afterward! Let's hope their excellent new album Well's On Fire changes all that.
I've listened to it now at least several dozen times and have read all the reviews posted here. Let me make a few observations. First of all, it is unfair to stack the current lineup against the fabled Procol Harum lineups of blessed memory. Those days are gone; some of the players don't want to come back, and one can't. Second, the heart and soul (Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid)of Procol Harum remain and Matthew Fisher is back. We should be thankful for that. Lastly, I'm happy to hear that the music is really all new. If I wanted to hear one of their old songs, I would put on an old album. Weisselklenzenacht does not sound like Repent Walpurgis as some suggest and I am grateful. Repent Walpurgis is one of a kind and should forever remain so.
Now to the music. Despite Matthew Fisher's return, the new PH lineup sounds more that of the days of Exotic Birds and Fruit and Grand Hotel rather than that of the first three albums on which Fisher played before he left the band. Some songs are instantly recognizable as having the classic Procol Harum sound: An Old English Dream, The VIP Room, Fellow Travelers, and The Emperor's New Clothes. I enjoy all those, but am specially pleased with rocking numbers like Shadow Boxed, The Question, and the very topical and timely Wall Street Blues. Every Dog Will Have His Day is also excellent, but we could have been spared the howling.
The Blink Of An Eye, the band's 9/11 remembrance falls short, but is not as trite as some suggest. The phrase about "living on Easy Street" and having the "rug pulled from under our feet" may sound hokey, but to me it merely poetically suggests a rude awakening from self-absorbed complacency.
Well's On Fire represents a sweet return to the limelight for Procol Harum after years in the shadows. I recommend it to one and all.