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GLENN HUGHES
RETURN OF CRYSTAL KARMA

SPV Music / CRCL-90001/2
Produced by: Hughes & Michael Scott

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Deep Purple
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 62%

  1. The State I'm In
  2. Midnight Meditated
  3. It's Alright
  4. Switch The Mojo
  5. Gone
  6. The Other Side Of Me
  7. Angela
  8. Owed To 'J'
  9. This Life
  10. Days Of Avalon

Since Glenn was able to throw off the constraints of Addiction and return full time to music making, the appointed Voice Of Rock has committed some wonderful moments and sensational vocals to record.
Over half a dozen solo records, Glenn has seldom repeated himself. From the AOR of From Now On, the soul and funk of Feel, the aggressive hard rock of Addiction to his last album, the more soulful modern rock of The Way It Is.
Glenn surrounds himself with the best musicians and the best songwriters and it shows through.
Which is why it is clear on his new album Return Of Crystal Karma, that something is missing. This album misses the spark that the others had to varying degrees. When an album misses such a spark, the best place to start is the songs. And that is where R.O.C.K. falls down.
The album's sound is also a little confused. Sure enough,
some parts of it rock as hard as any Glenn Hughes record has ever rocked. The guitar sound is brash and intense, yet it hasn't the impact of Addiction. The album also has it's soulful side, but without the same approach or appeal of Feel. To sum up, the album is a blend of The Way It Is and Addiction without showing the strengths of either album.
The opening number The State I'm In is very similar to The Way It Is' You Kill Me and tracks like Midnight Meditated, The Other Side Of Me and This Life are all guitar heavy modern rockers, but without a killer punch. The choruses are just not there and the melodies and hooks within the songs don't have the desired effect.
Gone is a re-write from the recent Iommi/Hughes sessions, but again lacks the feel Iommi as a guitarist could have brought to this version of the song.
JJ Marsh is undoubtedly a killer guitarist and shines on many opportunities here, but Glenn misses the song writing contributions of past collaborators as Bruce Gowdy, Marc Bonilla and Pat Thrall.
There are a few good songs here and the production is still A+, but when you have a catalogue of achievements like Glenn does, this album just falls short and I for one will rank it behind most of his other albums.
As a bonus, Glenn has included a 6 track live CD as disc 2. I can think of only a couple of reasons why an artist would do such a thing. One would be if there was no possibility of it being issued in full as a live album at a later date or the other reason is that it just wouldn't hold up as good enough for official release. While I always love getting these bonuses, it's clear enough that this will never be released outside this bonus. The songs are killer (You Kill Me, Neverafter, First Step Of Love, No Stranger To Love, Coast To Coast & Your Love Is Alright), but I don't think Glenn was having a good night. On both You Kill Me and First Step Of Love his voice breaks in most unusual Glenn fashion. He does redeem himself on No Stranger To Love and Coast To Coast.
BOTTOM LINE: Another album for devoted Glenn Hughes fans, that will sit nicely between Addiction and The Way It Is. But overall and in the general scheme of things, this isn't the strongest melodic rock record and certainly not one of Glenn's better moments.
This is not going to convert any new fans and may also disappoint a few die-hards, but with several other projects in the wind, it won't be too long before I will be singing Glenn's praises again. Stay tuned for the Voodoo Hill project for example.
PRODUCTION: 85% SONGS: 55% VIBE: 50%ATTITUDE: 50%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Established Glenn Hughes fans.
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.


10/06/05: David West - david@thebackroomagency.com
Rating: 80
Since this came out, I've been re-visiting this album. I'm giving it 80 because 8 out 10 songs are great and I would tape them on a Best Of CD. The first 4 are killer. Days of Avalon doesn't get any better (well, maybe Blue Jade) as a Ballad, JJ's tribute to Jeff Beck, fantastic. Despite everyone's tastes, the best songs rate as highly as ANY Glenn songs. I actually think it sits between TWII and BTM with SITKOR making a strong move as a tie. I urge everybody to give this CD another chance.

Despite

14/01/05: kudi - kudis@bluewin.ch
Rating: 5
this is the absolutely crapy album of glenns career! Glenn have two problems one is he's real hard rock fans, who know what is music.And he's funk/soul fans....

30/04/03: tommy - TomK@featherlite.com
Rating: 85
THIS IS THE FIRST GH CD I HAVE HEARD AND BOUGHT. I CANT WAIT TO HEAR THE REST OF HIS WORK.

09/12/01: John - coolbass@optonline.net
Rating: 80
I am a huge GH fan. This CD is good. Not the best i've heard. This is still better than alot of other stuff but since it's GH we expect the best. No artist can give the best over and over. But I still like this CD.

24/08/01: Mikael Hagström - mikael.hagstrom@bracke.mail.telia.com
Rating: 80
Jeez, I just can't understand this bashing! I absolutely love this disc, heavy hard and Glenn sings so f#%!ng great!
"Days Of Avalon", "Angela", "The State I'm In" and "Midnight Meditated" are superb moments.

I guess I'm much more of a metal fan than most AOR listeners.

20/02/01: SEAN - sean@meridianltd.com
Rating: 1
disapointment to say the least...great singer (at times) but can't write a tune to save his life. his vox would be better suited on a dance record anymore....he's lost a bit of the fire...too much "vocal masturbation"....he should join Boys to Men....Ritchie Kotzen has no problem ripping him off lately tho'

23/01/01: Rockystar - rockystar@hastajuego.com
Rating: 50
malo, malo, malo y muy malo, es mejor el trabajo echo con voodoo hill que su propio trabajo, donde esta el glenn hughes del Face the truth de john norum

30/11/00: Jeff - lemas156@aol.com
Rating: 3
What an utter dissapointment! I spend $33.00 on the japanese import, specifically for the bonus track......this is the best track on the entire cd! I basically spent $33.00 on 1 really good song, cuz the rest isn't worth listening to. I have pretty much everything Glenn has ever done or appeared on, and have not truly been this disappointed thus far. The live cd sounds like he was having a pretty bad night (compare his vocal on the live disc to the acoustic "Coast To Coast" track on the Jap "Talk About It" cd single......he was amazing on that track!) For those of you who haven't purchased R.O.C.K., don't waste your money.

06/10/00: Bruce Alexander - balex12@aol.com
Rating: 40
Wow, what a disappointment. I loved THE WAY IT IS for it's great production and mix of hook drenched songs. But R.O.C.K. is just the opposite. Bad production with boring songs. If it weren't for the bonus live disc, this album would be a total waste. In fact, the live songs from THE WAY IT IS show-up this dismissal studio album. If you read the UFO - COVENANT review I wrote, you'll notice I said the samething about that album. Which is a real shame. Both UFO and Glenn Hughes have done much better. But skip over these two CDs. Maybe Voodoo Hill with Dario Mallo and Glenn Hughes will be better.

09/09/00: Michael - michaelmcguire@earthlink.net
Rating: 8
R.O.C.K. spent nearly a full month in my car CD player...maybe it's my extreme appreciation for Glenn's voice, but Hughes has repeatedly impressed me with both his songs and performances since giving him a first listen in 1996. I would go back as far as FROM NOW ON and say that everything since has been top-notch. I love the hooks on R.O.C.K. and the lyrical content is great IMO. There are some things that don't require explaining- it is just what Glenn intended it to be, or it wouldn't be at all! This isn't kissing up, it's the truth! A great album,and a nice bonus live CD...the material on THE WAY IT IS is great to hear live as are the jazzed-up versions of No Stranger To Love and Coast To Coast. I only wish the bonus CD was titled "Live in NORTH America". Come back and see us, Glenn!

01/09/00: Todd - toadsterama@msn.com
Rating: 6
As much as I looked forward to this album's release, I have to say that I've only listened to it perhaps three times since. I find it very hard to get into, despite many Glenn Hughes fans' statements to the contrary at www.glennhughes.com. The production seems to muddy the vocals, and the overall feel is way too heavy. I LOVED the last album, The Way It Is, and although the Addiction album was heavy as well, its production was crisp. Sorry to say that ROCK is more "junk" than "funk".

19/08/00: WADE - DWADESTER@AOL.COM
Rating: 10
ANYTHING GLEN DOES IS GREAT...ACTUALLY OUT OF ALL HIS LATEST RECORDINGS THE ONLY DISC THIS DIE HARD FAN DOES NOT APPRECIATE IS "ADDICTION". GREAT TO HEAR GLENN PLAY THE BASS AGAIN THOUH HUH? LETS ALL GET THIS GUY TO COME TO THE STATES! HE HAS NOT BEEN TO CHICAGO SINCE LIKE `73 I WAS ONLY 4 YEARS OLD THEN. COME ON GLENN!!!

21/07/00: PSP - baddebts@aol.com
Rating: 2
WOW, Andrew you're right ..This CD is a complete and utter disappointment..this is way to heavy and all the songs sound like
the previous song !!! Virtually every song sounds like it has the same "riff". I used to always say that Glenn has the clearest
and the greatest Rock voices ever (..I'm sure he still does) .but
I can hardly understand any of the lyrics here ...Glenn should have spent more time righting "songs" rather than rocking as heavy as he could ...Nothing is even remotely melodic, soulful or
anything else, for that matter ...the 1 "slower" track "Angela" is totally boring !!!!!!! all these songs seem to include "groovy" little keyboard parts, which are very cool, then
the songs go back to that same old guitar "riff" !!! BORING!!!!
I expect alot more from Glenn, than a totally throwaway LP !!!!
I'm afraid that if any "true" Glenn Hughes fan says that they like this crap, then they're only trying to kiss his butt!!!!!

The Live CD is, again, OK . yes "No Stranger to Love" and "Coast
to Coast" are excellent ..but the rest is average

Lets all look forward to Glenn's other projects


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