GLENN HUGHES – Building the Machine
The 2001 release entitled "Building the Machine" by the ever-awesome Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Country Communion, Black Sabbath) saw the legendary voice of rock combine his kick-ass hard rock with his love for soul and funk music to great effect, which is nothing new really, because Glenn has more or less always combined those different elements to some degree regardless of whether he was out on his own or working as a member of another band. Nobody sounds quite like this guy. That is just a fact.
"Building the Machine" is the perfect follow-up to the excellent "Return of Crystal Karma" (2000) record, which is to say that it it is quite riff-oriented, guitar-based, and sharp, but those thick, pulsating bass lines that we have come to associate with Hughes are very much present too. Having said that, this one is perhaps a tad more diverse and musically challenging than its predecessor. The sound and production of the album is also more focused and everything sounds brighter and clearer. As much as I love the warm and raw edge of "Return of Crystal Karma", there is something about the vibe and atmosphere of "Building the Machine" that appeals to me a little more. Hughes sounds as passionate as ever and the tunes are all imbued with the kind of emotion that only Glenn is capable of delivering.
Backed by highly talented musicians who are right on the money, this is one stellar disc. On top of that, Pat Travers and Bobby Kimball make guest appearances on the album. Standout tracks include the groovy "Can’t Stop the Flood", the driven and melancholy "Inside", the wonderful "Beyond the Numb", and the dynamic and moving "Feels Like Home". "Don’t Let It Slip Away" is the only song that falls by the wayside and does nothing for me. The rest are more or less superb. A great reworking of the underrated Deep Purple rocker "High Ball Shooter" has also been included. Awesome!
Regardless of whether you think that hard rock with a funk edge appeals to you or not, the bottomline is that you ought to check this killer release out as soon as fucking possible. The 2CD remaster features a fantastic German live performance from 1999 (which includes tracks from his stints with Deep Purple and Black Sabbath), a killer Japanese bonus cut, and some informative and interesting liner notes. You know what to do!