What does it sound like?:
XII is the latest BJH album to appear in the deluxe reissue format of two cds plus a dvd.
This set, originally released in late 1978, is generally regarded as the last consistently good album produced by the band, marking as it does the subsequent departure from the line up of founding member, keyboard player and composer Woolly Wolstenholme.
As usual with these releases, the first cd has the original album, which has been augmented by a further five bonus tracks. Cd 2 has a new stereo mix, while the dvd has the 5.1 surround mix.
Although the album is a bit of a mixed bag, overall the stronger pieces outweigh the weaker tracks. Songs like Berlin and In Search Of England stand out from the pack as the highlights on what is not a particularly adventurous album.
Nevertheless, this is one of the best albums in the band’s later, more commercial, or if you prefer less prog, era. The sound quality is very good, and the booklet, as well as restoring the original artwork, has an interesting new essay on the recording of the album.
What does it all *mean*?
XII is quite an eclectic mixture, combining melodic progressive rock with material in a more commercial vein, but is not a bad follow up to its predecessor Gone To Earth, and it’s certainly better than the band’s later weaker output.
Goes well with…
An evening spent relaxing and reminiscing.
Might suit people who like…
Other BJH albums, soft rock with a prog influence here and there.