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Non-Prog CD Reviews

UFO

Walk On Water

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a very strong reunion for the quintessential lineup of this classic hard rock/metal band who have always taken that genre in a more art rock directions. This album is really one of the stronger albums this band has ever done, and if there is any justice in the world, will take them to new heights. The album includes 8 new tracks and new versions of two UFO classics. The lineup on the album is Andy Parker, Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg, Pete Way, and Paul Raymond.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
A Self Made Man
Starting in a definite heavy metal mode, this is certainly a classic UFO number combining clever arrangements, strong vocals and metallic guitar chops into a whole that is certainly greater than the sum of the parts. This song seems to be a criticism of people who are too thoroughly involved in the dog-eat-dog business world. "I am the demon of your darkest thoughts, wired to self destruct, A greedy, nasty, selfish little man, who could never have or get too much."
Venus
A song about being caught in a destructive and addictive relationship, the keyboard intro has tones of Deep Purple, but once the guitar comes in, this track is trademark UFO. Sort of a ballad with a hard rocking chorus (kind of a UFO tradition), this piece really does contain art rock influences (mostly in the keyboard work, but also in the arrangement). The intro reappears as an instrumental break late in the number.
Pushed to the Limit
Again a trademark UFO track, this track is hard driving, and fast paced. The bridge to this song is quite intriguing.
Stopped By a Bullet (of love)
A very interesting guitar segment starts this cut off. This number is in a solid rocking mode, not really metal, but with elements of that style combined with art rock and hard rock.
Darker Days
Darker Days is another metallic track in the classic UFO mode. The instrumental break has such a classic UFO feel that it really takes one back quite a few years. Lyrically this track has a lot of Christian themes without really knocking the listener over the head with it.
Running on Empty
This is a solid rocking tune whose lyrics lament the prison that marriage can represent and breaking free of it. A wonderful Spanish styled guitar break brings some artsy influences to this number.
Knock, Knock
In a recurring theme, this cut laments getting married and having your spouse take everything you have worked for from you. Knock, Knock is another hard rocking track in the classic UFO tradition.
Dreaming of Summer
A bit reminiscent of Love to Love, but with a harder edge, this track has that sort of metallic ballad feel that UFO has always done so well.
Doctor, Doctor (New Version)
The guitar intro to the original version has been replaced with an segment, which, although containing some nice guitar work, is actually dominated by a pretty and intricate piano line. This version is actually quite similar in other respects to the original, but with more texture to it (the original seems a bit flat in comparison). UFO have taken a track which many consider to be one of their finest and made it even better.
Lights Out (New Version)
This version, like the new rendition of Doctor, Doctor seems quite close to the original, but with more depth to both the performance and the production. This is another fine example of how a very good song can be made better by updating it. This performance is, however, nearly a minute longer than the original.
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