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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Steve Howe

Turbulence

Review by Gary Hill

Although this album is strictly instrumental, it’s one of the most “Yes-like” of Steve Howe’s solo catalog. It’s also one of the best. Howe really creates some impressive music here. A couple pieces of tracks here wound up in songs by Yes later. I guess that proves how Yes-like they were. Howe is joined on this release by Yes alum Bill Bruford. Other musicians on the set include Andrew Lucas, Billy Currie and Nigel Glockner. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Turbulence

Mellow atmospheric tones open this. Then it fires tentatively out to a fast paced jam that just oozes cool. That section takes over in earnest before a more melodic movement emerges. As this continues shifting and changing, there’s a very Yes-like section later before a new guitar solo movement joins.

Hint Hint
The section that opens this has a bit of an Asian flair. That introduction gives way to a melodic progressive rock piece that really feels a lot like Yes.
Running the Human Race
This is a little mellower and in some ways more dramatic. The guitar soloing on it is particularly melodic and it’s just a magical piece of music.
The Inner Battle
Starting tentatively, a harder rocking jam emerges after a short time. Parts of this cut were reworked into a Yes song on the Union album.
Novalis
The envelope processed sound on this is sort of like some of the music that would later appear on the Open Your Eyes album from Yes. This is a mid-tempo jam with some killer guitar soloing.
Fine Line
Starting on acoustic guitar, this grows out into a real progressive rock tour-de-force. It’s a great piece of music. It drops back to the acoustic guitar driven sounds later to serve as a closing bookend.
Sensitive Chaos
Sections of this also ended up being done by Yes on the Union album. Overall this is another killer jam that’s a bit more high energy and has a lot of great melodies driving it.
Corkscrew
Although the instrumentation and overall sound lands this in progressive rock, the composition itself is more of a classical piece. This is an intricate and complex number that works quite well.
While Rome's Burning
Here we get another rocker with that trademark Steve Howe sound. It isn’t all rock, though. It drops back for mellower interlude. It also has some great hooks built into it.
From A Place Where Time Runs Slow
While this has a lot of energy, it’s quite classical and fairly mellow in terms of instrumentation and arrangement. It’s another killer piece of music.
 
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