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UFO: You Are Here

It's hard to believe, but UFO have been around for thirty five years now. Throughout the seventies and eighties, whether with Michael Schenker or Paul Chapman on lead guitar, the band gave us so many classic hard rock albums that it is puzzling to think the band were only a cult phenomenon. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at re-establishing themselves with Michael Schenker, UFO are now carrying on with neo-classical axeman Vinnie Moore. Added to the venerable lineup of Phil Mogg, Pete Way, and Paul Raymond is Jason Bonham so UFO fans have a potentially lethal new phase in their long and varied history.

I say potentially because as solid as it is, You Are Here doesn't quite live up to expectations. "When Daylight Goes to Town", "Black Cold Coffee" and "The Wild One" are a trio of rockers that open the CD and it sounds as if UFO are rather bored with their own material; generic in construction, delivery and production, these songs are tailor made for the American blue collar bar circuit but hardly material that could compete with the band's best output. Things improve with the catchy "Give It Up" and the band remain relatively consistent throughout the rest of the CD. "Slipping Away", "The Spark That is Us", "Sympathy" and the lovely ballad "Baby Blue" show us that UFO are not done yet. Phil Mogg's voice is slightly deeper than before, but he still sounds magnificent. Vinnie Moore wisely doesn't show off and keeps his leads in the proper context of the songs; there is no "shredding" present.

While You Are Here will never go down with Light's Out or The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent as one of UFO's best offerings, it serves as a respectable introduction to a new lineup. The end results are a little tired and the general state of ennui is evident in the seldom changed mid tempo of the songs. While there is nothing inherently wrong with You Are Here-outside of the inexplicable decision to mix Paul Raymond's keyboards so low that they are inaudible-there's nothing distinguishable about it. Hopefully, the band will be a little more adventurous next time

Track Listing
01. When Daylight Goes to Town
02. Black Cold Coffee
03. The Wild One
04. Give it Up
05. Call Me
06. Slipping Away
07. The Spark That is Us
08. Sympathy
09. Mr. Freeze
10. Jello Man
11. Baby Blue
12. Swallow

Added: November 18th 2004
Reviewer: Steve Pettengill
Related Link: UFO Website
Hits: 5561
Language: english

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