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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lee Kerslake

Eleventeen

Review by Gary Hill

Lee Kerslake passed away in 2020 after a long battle with cancer. During the last several years of his life, he had been working on this album as time and his health allowed. You might know Kerslake's name from his time as the drummer in Uriah Heep. Or you might be familiar with him because he was the drummer on the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. This music doesn't really fit into the same category as those acts, although one does come pretty close to Uriah Heep territory. I have to also admit that it's not a tight fit under progressive rock. In fact, some of the songs are definitely not prog, but most of the cut have some leanings in that direction, and there are at least a couple that I would have no problem landing in that genre. However you categorize this, though, it was obviously a work of passion, and comes across as a lasting tribute to Kerslake.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Celia Sienna
A ticking percussion starts this song. Keyboards rise up and provide the backdrop for a non-lyrical vocal. Guitar and other instruments join as this turns into a more mainstream rock arrangements. As the vocals join, I'm reminded of The Strawbs to a large degree. The track continues to evolve, and I really love some of the keyboard sounds on it a lot.
Take Nothing For Granted
I love the almost classical keyboard movement that brings this into being. The cut fires out from there in a fierce, up-tempo prog jam that's purely classic. This is a powerhouse tune.
Where Do We Go From Here
While this is more of a hard rocker, there are still arena prog textures built into it. It has a great balance between the balladic, mellower sections and the more rocking ones. The sound of a crying baby runs between the end of this song and the beginning of the next one.
You May Be By Yourself (But You're Never Alone)
Starting with the baby crying and the father's soothing efforts, this comes out as a pretty ballad. The arrangement at the beginning is perhaps a little too precious for my tastes, but it is an effective piece. The cut grows out as a powered up ballad further down the road. It also gets more proggy in some of the instrumental moments. There is a tasteful acoustic guitar solo built into it. It does turn into sort of a bluesy rocker further down the road.
Port And A Brandy
This is sort of a pub sing along tune. It's energetic. It's just piano and vocals.
You've Got A Friend
Here we get a cover of the Carole King classic. It's acoustic guitar and vocals in terms of arrangement. There are female vocals in the mix, complementing the lead ones well. There are some other instruments later along the road, too.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Some cool keyboard textures start this cut. Electric guitar joins as it shifts to more of a rocking prog arrangement. This becomes a real screaming hot tune. This is set in a sound that isn't far removed from Uriah Heep, really. It's an effective song that has some killer guitar fills.
Mom
This instrumental is a classy tune that combines prog rock with mainstream arena rock and classic 70s sound. It's an effective closer
 
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