MTM Music
Release Date: September 3, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Already?! you might ask. It is less than two years since the first HTP-album, and since then the duo has released a live album (HTP Live in Tokyo) and one solo album each ( Hughes’ Songs in the Key of Rock and Lynn Turner’ JLT). So what could you expect from these guys now, then? Which goodies have they hidden up their sleeves saved for this recording?

You’ll be surprised! This is impressive. Their first HTP album was the best release the both of them had put out in years, and this one, HTP 2, is not much short of it. It might lack as good opening tracks as the great and hard punching “Devil’s Road”, “Missed Your Name,” and “You can’t stop Rock N’ Roll” from the 2002 predecessor, but as you get into it, you’ll find moments of melodic hard rock that just makes you want to celebrate the whole history of the genre.

The first highlight on this album, “Losing My Head,” track three, is a really weird one. With Steve Vai as guest, it opens with an intro drastically close to the riff of Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” I might have bothered, but since this is something that happens to most band every once in a while I just don’t care to care … However, the track builds up and continues beautifully melodic and intense. Somebody will notice though, that the chorus is unpleasantly close to former Spice Girls member Mel C’s song “Never Be the Same Again.” That’s a bit scary. (Or should I say sporty …?)

Glenn Hughes really sings his heart out. He rules! His bass playing also holds a very high standard throughout the record’s 11 tracks (12 in Japan). Turner as well proves that all those years in rock to him has not worn out his voice but filled it with tons of experience and a fine attention to technical details.

In general, vocally HTP 2 is a show off of quality singing. Several of the album’s songs provides double harmony vocals not heard with the same brilliance since Hughes sang along with David Coverdale on Purple’s Mark III albums.

“Lost Dreams,” where string master J.J. Marsh demonstrates the noble art of Blackmore-ish guitar play, is another proof that Hughes and Turner still have got a lot to deliver to the music scene. And though this is rock, it conveys qualities way beyond the boundaries of the genre.

On “Hold On,” (Not the song from Purple’s 1974 Stormbringer album!) Hughes yet another time fills the speakers with that tremendous voice of God -blessed soul. The song takes you back to whatever decade of rock since … Purple’s 1974 Stormbringer.

The album contains one big disappointment. The power ballad “Time and Time Again,” sung by Turner, just sounds embarrassingly cliche. The lyrics go on like: We were young (…) / What ever happened to the plans we made? / I remember the day we met / how we laughed in the rain / some things you just can’t forget / when you still feel the pain. It is a surprise to me why no one during the recording sessions didn’t prevent Turner from adding this song. There’s a reason why rock groups stopped making syrup like this several extinct band careers ago. My promotional copy of the CD holds very little information on who’s been writing what on this album, but whoever penned this: Shame on you! This sounds like H & T has forgot the 80’s are long gone.

As soon as “Time and Time Again” finally fades out, “Goodbye Friday” puts a smile back on your face. “Goodbye Friday” swings, and it is full of good ol’ rock n’ roll fun. The chorus is as playful as anything you’ve heard since the two first Extreme records.

It is good to have Turner and Hughes around. Seeing them live last year I was just so thankful to witness two musicians of the school of classic rock who (along with Ronnie James Dio) still are on the top of their ability to perform from such a lot of chapters from the melodic hard rock history book. They deliver, along with own material, songs of Rainbow, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Whitesnake. They are not taking care of business, they are taking care of the soul of rock ‘n’ roll. Lets hope they stay for a long long time.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.