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Starcastle: Citadel

When it was originally released in 1977, Starcastle's third album Citadel caused quite a stir in prog circles, not only due to it being produced, as its predecessor had by Queen nob-twiddler Roy Thomas Baker, but also for its slightly more commercial and less progressive outlook.

There was still no doubt that the main source of inspiration for the band was Yes, but this time the forays into the land of Styx were more apparent, not least in the fact that with "Can't Think Twice" and "Could This Be Love" that Starcastle had actually come up with songs with choruses that genuinely deserved to be mainstream hits! In fact while the structures are far more Yes and Styx it is fair to suggest that with the right exposure, Stracastle could have beaten Asia to the prog/single chart crossover. What impresses most though is when you realise that both these and the other six songs on show avoid the throwaway accusations that much of the more commercial side of prog has had aimed at it. One time REO Speedwagon singer Terry Luttrell leads from the front with his slightly brasher Jon Anderson vocal style and the Styx-ish layers of backing vox only serve to heighten just what a gloriously stylish voice he had. The real stars of the show however are keyboard maestro Herb Schildt and guitarists Steve Hagler and Matt Stewart, who between them intertwine to wonderful effect on the poppier moments and the more overtly progressive tracks such as "Wings Of White" and "Evening Wind".

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and while with this album the tide was slowly turning against Starcastle, the benefit of looking back at this disc nearly 35 years down the line shows that it has aged remarkably well and definitely should have been revered more at the time. Baker's production may still be a touch brash for some ears, but Starcastle were still a force to be reckoned with on Citadel, which is an album well worth revisiting.

Track Listing
1. Shine On Brightly
2. Shadows Of Song
3. Can't Think Twice
4. Wings Of White
5. Evening Wind
6. Change In Time
7. Could This Be Love
8. Why Have They Gone

Added: June 4th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link:
Hits: 2081
Language: english

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