GLENN HUGHES – Songs in the Key of Rock
Opening track "In My Blood" rocks like you would not believe. Superb vocals, brilliant riffs, great arrangements, and a lot of fucking groove. "Lost in the Zone" and the energetic "Gasoline" are stellar compositions that are both incredibly dynamic and memorable. The same goes for the crunchy "Get You Stoned" and the wildly driven "Standing on the Rock". The highlight must surely be the moving and emotionally charged tribute to Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham entitled "Higher Places (Song for Bonzo)", though. What a wonderful tune that is! "Written All Over Your Face" is a powerful ballad that clocks in at nearly nine minutes. Talk about epic!
There is a lot of excellent stuff on display here, but whereas its two predecessors, namely "Return of Crystal Karma" and "Building the Machine", were solid and captivating more or less all the way through, "Songs in the Key of Rock" tends to lose a bit of its momentum here and there during the second half of the record. In that sense, it is neither as cohesive nor coherent as the aforementioned two releases, but the majority of tracks are so goddamn cool that it is impossible not to get carried away by them and the album is most definitely worth your time. The band is firing on all cylinders and truly give it their all, so there is no lack of spark or energy, but, like I said, a few of the songs that make up the last half of the album are slightly lacklustre compared to the others.
"Songs in the Key of Rock" has more of a 70s feel and vibe to it and it simply sounds vintage, which is obviously a compliment, because with Glenn Hughes it all sounds natural and organic. Nothing sounds contrived or forced. He was kicking ass with Trapeze and Deep Purple back in the 70s, for Christ’s sake. Having said that, the album also sounds modern and current, so it is not as if it is stuck in the past or sounds dated or anything like that. The two live shows that have been included both rule. The crisp and punchy sound of them is a huge plus in that the songs off "Songs in the Key of Rock" sound even more intense and powerful live compared to their studio counterparts. The live renditions of classic Purple material such as "Mistreated", "You Keep on Moving", and "Gettin’ Tighter" are truly wicked!
Although "Songs in the Key of Rock" is slightly less compelling than its two predecessors, it is still essential if you want quality rock with meaning and atmosphere to it. Do not miss out on this one!