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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: 3761
Language: english

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UFO: You Are Here
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-11-18 20:19:47
My Score:

Legendary rockers UFO. have returned with a kicking piece of rock and roll for the world to enjoy. Singer Phil Mogg still has one of the more pure voices in rock music and he has held up over the years quite well. Some of the CD reminded me a little more of a Bad Company style than that of earlier UFO, yet this is not a bad comparison to hold.

Membership has changed in UFO over the years. While this band once had the provincial Michael Schenker on lead guitar, it now is the home for Vinnie Moore who's style and speed are a welcome addition to the band. On the drums is Jason (son of the legendary John) Bonham. I feel he plays some of his best drumming on this album, nice and solid throughout. Original members Pete Way (bass) and Paul Raymond (keyboards) comprise the rest of the lineup and touring structure. However the USA Fans would see Barry Sparks playing bass on the shows due to VISA issues that were faced by Way at the onset of the visit to these shores.

Numbers of note on the CD right away to me are "Black Cold Coffee" (fast and hard rock filled piece), "Daylight Goes To Town" (a good radio single if they tried one), "Mr Freeze" (nice work in it and feel). There is also a semi-power ballad called "Baby Blue". Quite honestly as far as rock records go the whole piece is a constant when it comes to listening to it. There are no tracks that you will find yourself skipping to get to the next at all, which I feel is always a good thing. I recommend this piece for the die-hards and new fans as well.

UFO: You Are Here
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-06-21 22:31:18
My Score:

I've been a fan of UFO since about 1979, back when Michael Schenker's first tour of duty with the band had just come to and end. Albums's like Lights Out, Phenomenon, Force It, No Heavy Petting, and Obsession were classic examples of melodic heavy metal/hard rock, and to this reviewer UFO were a band that deserved super stardom but unfortunately never got it. Back in the mid-90's Mr. Schenker came back into the fold, and after 3 studio albums and some disastrous tours, he once again flew the coup for his solo work. In steps former neo-classical guitar wonder boy Vinnie Moore, as well as drummer Jason Bonham, joining mainstays Phill Mogg, Pete Way, and Paul Raymond, for this new album You Are Here. How does it hold up you ask?

Well, surprisingly pretty good all things considered. First of all, it's a pleasure to hear Moore not trying to just shred his way through everything. His tone is crisp on the solos (which are fairly brief I might add) and chunky on the rhythms. In fact, what I really like is that Vinne throws in a lot of quick little fills during the verses and choruses just like Schenker did back in the early days. Tunes like "Black Cold Coffee" and "When Daylight Goes to Town" flat out rock, thanks to some ballsy vocals from Mogg (who hasn't sounded this good in years) killer guitar work, and thunderous drumming from Bonham. "Mr. Freeze" almost sounds like a leftover Van Halen track from the early 80's, thanks to some interesting guitar parts from Moore, and he goes into Hendrix hyper-drive on the rampaging "Jello Man."

So what's wrong with this CD? Well, for one, Paul Raymond is practically invisible throughout. Other than a few audible notes on "Swallow", you would be hard pressed to hear any of his keyboards on this album, which is really a shame considering that he is listed as the keyboard player of the band, and his parts always added such a nice symphonic flair to the other UFO albums he has played on in the past. A few songs also seem to have a fairly generic way about them, but that is pretty consistant with the last few UFO albums really. Other than that, this is a very good hard rock record, featuring two very good debut's with Moore & Bonham, and another strong performance from singer Phil Mogg. UFO is still alive and well-Schenker who?

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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