Average Rating 6.77
For me XII has more highs than lows - although at
times it falls just short of top drawer BJH material.
I always believe the best BJH albums are those where
there is a particular character or where John Lees in
particular stretches himself. John has the ability to
take an average song and add something special.
His songs can be full of surprises and power whereas
Les Holroyd sticks with a more formula-led way of
There are some genuinely interesting moments here,
however. In Classics: A Tale of Two Sixties John
cleverly interweaves album and group titles and Fact:
The Closed Shop sees him in determined political mood.
Nova Lepidoptera not only provided the title for the
band's fan club newsletter but also a slightly whimsical
feel strong on melody.
Berlin is one of Les' best songs and also one of the
fans' favourites, but two songs by Woolly Wolstenholme
illustrate how much he would be missed when he left the
band shortly afterwards. "Harbour" is a
tuneful close harmony piece and "In Search For
England" sounds like classical Genesis.
I find "Turning in Circles," "Sip of
Wine" and "Giving It Up" disappointing
and merely filler fodder from Les' pen.
Overall the album has a pleasant feel about it.
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