Friday, 11 September 2015

The Bob Seger System - Noah [1969], album review


This second album gets mixed reviews, the main critical focus being the ‘takeover’ in the band by Tom Neme, and I can certainly hear the variable rather than Seger-solid sound: opener and title track a good example with its echo of Amen Corner’s Half as Nice and the sax solo playing a version of Benny Hill’s theme tune [though this song is commented on as ‘classic’ Seger by some…], whilst second Innervenus Eyes is a more expected heavy cut that sounds like it could be Iron Butterfly playing: that’s quite a mix.

Overall there is more of a pop-psyche feel to many of the tracks, two Neme songs Lonely Man and Loneliness is a Feeling [oddly placed side by side at 3 and 4], not surprisingly reflecting this, though I do rather like the second of these. Fifth Cat could be by Beefheart with its percussion core and Seeger shouting out, so again not perhaps the expected norm, but I like this too.

We endure – relatively speaking – four more popish numbers [three by Neme] until arriving at the final stand-out track Death Row which is both driving rock with a driving narrative, the two elements combining to produce the musical and emotional intensity that seems more Seger’s signature style…as I continue learning.

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