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GLENN HUGHES
BUILDING THE MACHINE

SPV 085-72372 CD
Produced by: Glenn Hughes & Michael Scott

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Himself
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 90%

  1. Can't Stop The Flood
  2. Inside
  3. Out On Me
  4. I Just Want To
  5. Celebrate
  6. Don't Let It Slip Away
  7. Feel Like Home
  8. Highball Shooter
  9. When You Fall
  10. I Will Follow You
  11. Beyond The Numb
  12. Big Sky

Glenn Hughes continues his post-drug addition solo career with his new album Building The Machine.
It's been 10 years now since Glenn returned to steady recording, with a swag of albums under his belt. The legendary singer isn't afraid to vary his style, but in recent times has seen him settle into a consistent blues/funk/rock pattern. His last album off the rank was Return Of Crystal Karma, an album that I think disappointed some fans and was one of his weaker efforts generally, but especially in terms of song writing.
I am more than happy to report that Building The Machine is not only miles stronger in every department than that of it's predecessor, but I feel it is also even stronger than the acclaimed The Way It Is.
Building The Machine skips over ROCK and is closer in style to The Way It Is, but also adds some of the aggressiveness and modern production textures of Glenn's heaviest album to date - Addiction.
Opening the album, Can't Stop The Flood is a big groove filled hard rocker, with the guitar tuned way down and the funk turned way up. Glenn has seldom sounded better, especially with the trademark yelp come chorus time.
Inside kicks off the same way, with a really heavy guitar sound, but mid song is more dominated by a thick organ and the total command of Glenn's vocals - sounding as authorative as they ever have. The song has a serious 70's retro vibe to it and closes out with Glenn sounding sensational, providing both harmony and lead vocals.
The style changes with track three. Out On Me is a seriously funky track, featuring a higher pitched Hughes vocal. To me, the song is a classic 70's funk rock track that would sound equally at home on a Prince album. Love it - Glenn is having a ball on this track, with his high pitched yelps and screams prominent throughout. It's catchy as hell - in a Glenn Hughes way! Non-converts might struggle a bit still!
More retro rock follows, this time with a cover of the song I Just Want To Celebrate. Featured on this song is guitarist Pat Travers, who with Glenn, is part of the Voices Of Classic Rock. This version is heavy, funky and features a different tone to that of over parts of the record, yet fits in effortlessly.
Don't Let It Slip Away is another seriously funky hard rocker. This track has a ton of attitude and Glenn is again in total control - both on lead and self supplied harmony vocals. The guitar driven verse gives way to a soft, jazzy little chorus, before the riff once again break through and carry the song onwards.
It's probably a good point in proceedings to ease up a little and Feel Like Home does just that. But only for a moment. The first 2 minutes of the song is totally acoustic, with a soft vocal gliding you through. Then the song begins to build, with other instruments slowly introduced and the tempo raised. The song ends up rocking along at a fair pace to the finish.
Now it is time for Glenn's obligatory Deep Purple cover. Highball Shooter is that tune and sees a faithful rendition of the song featured, complete with a Coverdale like vocal and Glenn in his straight-up hard rocking best form.
When You Fall returns to the heavy guitar driven style of the opening two tracks. The song is slower in pace though, allowing the heavy tones of the song to be more prevalent. Another track that features a big fat organ sound also.
It is at this point the album changes direction, finishing up with a slower more reflective series of songs.
Starting with I Will Follow You. This track sees the pace and tone lighten up again. This softly-does-it pop rocker is a good circuit breaker for the otherwise fairly lethal onslaught of funk rock, although, Glenn can't help but toughen up more so towards the end.
Beyond The Numb sees Glenn in his soft, soulful best, with a soft jazzy/pop track that leads right into another mainly acoustic soulful ballad Big Sky.
There are some brilliant vocal performances in the song, but three soft soulful numbers in a row sees the pacing of the album end on a slightly soft note, especially after heavy funk of the rest of the album. Minor point - still great songs!
BOTTOM LINE: An album for Glenn's fans, no doubt. While some may prefer his harder rock sound, or his occasionally AOR feel, his die hard fans know this is the true Glenn Hughes.
This is hard-edged, true blues based, funk tinged rock n roll. Glenn doesn't make simple album's and this is another example of that, but listen and the rewards will be there. A solid album.
PRODUCTION: % SONGS: % VIBE: %ATTITUDE: %
ESSENTIAL FOR:
DISCOGRAPHY:Play Me Out . Four On The Floor . Hughes/Thrall . Blues . From Now On . Feel . Addiction . The Way It Is . Incense And Peaches . R.O.C.K . Building The Machine



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