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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Status Quo

In Search of the Fourth Chord

Review by Gary Hill

Status Quo are a legendary band, but here in the US they are really not a household name. That’s probably why it’s taken two years for this 2007 European release to see the light of day domestically. It’s definitely why I’ve always known about them, but I can’t remember ever hearing them until now (other than the classic “Pictures of Matchstick Men”). This disc shows a band creating some killer classic rock – even if it’s not all that unique. I like the album a lot, but I wouldn’t say that there’s much here that really set itself up as much beyond generic (but strong) classic rock.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Beginning of the End
A classic sounding guitar riff opens this. They work out from there to a cool hard rocking sound. This isn't anything Earth-shattering, but it's a catchy hard rocker. I do love the chorus, though. It's catchy and powerful. The drop back bit late in the track is a nice touch.
Alright
Again, we’re not breaking any real new ground, but this is just a strong rocker with some honky tonk piano and a catchy hook.
Pennsylvania Blues Tonight
Now, this is more like it. It’s still got a classic rock element to it, but the vocal arrangement is a bit more creative and there’s a little hint of a Celtic nature to the track at times. We also get a little 1950’s styling at times. I like this one a lot.
I Don't Wanna Hurt You Anymore
A little less hard edged, this is a fun pop rocker with some classic sounds to it. I particularly enjoy the guitar solo on this one.
Electric Arena
Dramatic and potent, this has a mellower, but powerful sound to it. There’s a definite 1960’s element here. It’s one of the highlights of the set.
Gravy Train
A hard edged, bluesy rocker, this isn’t exceptionally unique, but when it’s this strong, who cares. This is a great tune.
Figure of Eight
It’s not like we haven’t heard anything like this before. That said, this particular configuration of classic rock is still very tasty. I like this concoction quite a bit.
You're the One for Me
There’s a killer hard edged riff driving this piece. It’s one of the stronger tracks on show here. It’s got a boogie sort of shuffle to it and is just plain tasty.
My Little Heartbreaker
This bouncy little piece reminds me of something from Jeff Lynne.
Hold Me
Another hard rocker, this one is cool and reminds me a bit of Deep Purple.
Saddling Up
There’s some definite charm to this classic rocker.
Bad News
No molds are broken here, but instead we get a bouncy hard rocking cut that’s just plain fun.
Tongue Tied
An acoustic guitar based ballad, this has a folky texture to it, but it’s also got quite a bit of Beatles elements to it. I can make out some progressive rock on this, too. There are electric instruments here, but it never really rises to the point of arena rock ballad.
I Ain't Wasting My Time
A killer blues jam, this is fun. It might be my favorite track on show here. It reminds me quite a bit of Canned Heat.
 
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