Label: RPM Records - CSA 110,Thunderbird - CSA 110 • Format: CD Album • Country: UK • Genre: Rock, Folk, World, & Country • Style: Instrumental, Southern Rock, Prog Rock, Classic Rock
Walk, Don't Run 2. The Collector 3. Light Walls 4. Mosaic 5. Suddenly 6. Country Viper 7. Mainland 8. Knights of Carmelite 9. Les Ptites Notes - Liane Foly - Sweet Mystery - French And English Albums Momenta Sleep Walk Sovereigns Totality Solid Ground The Great Seige Cacti Garden Southern Accent Total Time: Also, the band feeling present on albums like the aforementioned The Grand Scheme Of Things and the later Elements is lacking here.
Indeed, the only other musician involved in Steve's son, Dylan Howe The Great Siege - Steve Howe - Quantum Guitar drums.
Dylan is not bad, but he is not Bill Bruford or Alan White. The bass and keyboards, played by Steve himself, are not very present and rather timid. It is the guitars that take centre stage here, which, after all, is not too surprising on an album titled Quantum Guitar. Overall, the sound becomes rather light weight, even on those pieces intended to rock. There are several good moments on the album, and even more moments where I feel that it could have been good if it had the right sound and was played with a bit more enthusiasm.
But Quantum Guitar represents Steve Howe on auto pilot. Therefore, this is only for Steve's more Its Only A Paper Moon - Ella Fitzgerald And Delta Rhythm Boys* - Its Only A Paper Moon (Shellac) fans!
Enlisting only the help of his son Dylan on drums, this is truly a Steve Howe do-it-yourselfer from top to bottom and therein lies its true weakness.
Only a handful of artists can achieve greatness without collaborating with other musicians who'll give constructive criticism and guidance and Steve ain't one of them. He opens with a modern rendering of the Ventures' classic instrumental 'Walk Don't Run' and he wisely resists wandering too far from the original arrangement.
In all fairness Howe adds some excitement where needed. The longest cut on the album is 'Suddenly' and, due to its length, I hoped it would be wildly proggy but it turns out to be pretty much of a contemporary guitar extravaganza that never generates any momentum. On 'Mainland' I gotta hand it to Howe for designing an adventurous chord progression and for employing a myriad of guitar sounds but all in all it's way too tame to hold my interest.
Its madrigal feel is refreshing at this juncture and the compositional structure is superb. Howe delivers another round of nostalgia with The Great Siege - Steve Howe - Quantum Guitar old chestnut 'Sleep Walk' and he treats it with honorable respect sitting at his pedal steel guitar but he also avoids taking any chances.
Its classical air is augmented by innumerable guitar overdubs that weave a nice tapestry. It's an engaging detour from the norm. He lays down a host of Spanish guitarisms for 'The Great Siege' and they're borderline thrilling but the instrumental comes off more as a dexterity exercise than an attempt on his part to mount the prog heights.
However, it's a case of too little too late. It wasn't enough to curb my unstoppable yawning spree. After Yes toured 'Relayer' in the mids all of the group's members took time off to make a solo LP. Two of them, Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, delivered exemplary progressive specimens but Steve's was a disappointment. Evidently that didn't stop him from trying, though, because he's put a bunch of records out there ever since. I won't be acquiring any more of his albums because 'Quantum Guitar' is like watching somebody else's home movies.
I'm sure he had a fun time and all but I don't really want to sit through his exploits. My thinking is that The Great Siege - Steve Howe - Quantum Guitar is how Howe writes his material and I understand that hit and miss process completely.
I just don't want to hear the ragged demos that resulted. Since he's a revered guitar wizard who's given me hours of ecstatic joy taking in his contributions to most of Yes' greatest albums I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and give this CD a 1.
But just this once. I wonder why so few people review Steve Howe's solo efforts - most of them are excellent prog albums. And this is the case with Quantum guitar. This album is all instrumental and electric - that's about style. It's not that I dislike Steve singing - I accept it, so to say, but instrumental mus You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here The Great Siege - Steve Howe - Quantum Guitar you are not.
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