RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Uriah Heep – Outsider
Frontiers Record

http://www.frontiers.it/album/5205/

Rating: B-

Outsider is Uriah Heep’s twenty-fourth studio album.  Man, that’s a lot of songs for one band to come up with.  Considering the longevity of the band and everything they have went through, it is pretty amazing they have survived and made it to 2014… in one piece… They are still here because of the dedication and passion of one man, founding member and guitarist Mick Box.

Box has made Uriah Heep his life’s mission.  He has survived good times, bad times, massive popularity and rock star excess.  He has persevered through disco, the skinny tie era and rap and hip hop and is still standing tall.  Heep has survived the death of several band members, the latest being the tragic death of long time bassist Trevor Boulder, who would have wanted Heep to continue.  And they have.  They are back with another album that sounds just like they have been sounding over the past decade. 

Outsider is a fine follow-up to Into the Wild, however, to be picky, the album art is bland and drab.  The release misses the flair of the artist IOANNIS who, other than Roger Dean, is the most notable artist to work with the band.  Aside from the artwork, the songs, while good, are not great.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some killer songs on Outsider, however, many struggle to keep one’s attention.

“One Minute” is the most Heep-like tune on the album, and therefore the best.  Others that will make your Best of Heep playlist are “Speed of Sound,” “Is Anybody Gonna Help Me?” and “Looking At You.”  These songs all drip of the classic guitar, organ and human pipes that have made the band stand the test of time.  The rest may grow on me with repeated listens, but as with many things in life in 2014, time may not allow them to.  The past luxury of giving an album repeated listens is disappearing in today’s musical landscape, making it more important than ever to only come out swinging with your best at all times.

It’s a tough gig when a band like Heep can put something out that is solid as hell, yet still leave you wanting more.  That speaks volumes to their past output.  This one falls somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to their recorded output. 

Uriah Heep in 2014 is:
Mick Box: Guitars, Vocals
Phil Lanzon: Keyboards, Vocals
Bernie Shaw: Lead Vocals
|Russell Gilbrook: Drums, Vocals
Dave Rimmer: Bass, Vocals

Track listing:
Speed of Sound
One Minute
The Law
The Outsider
Rock The Foundation
Is Anybody Gonna Help Me?
Looking At You
Can't Take That Away
Jesse
Kiss The Rainbow
Say Goodbye.

By Jeb Wright

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