[Review] Ken Hensley – My Book Of Answers

Ken Hensley certainly doesn’t need to be introduced to Rock music fans, especially Prog, as he has been one of the mainstays of the genre and modern music. During his career he gave us moments of superior music and timeless masterpieces especially during his stay in Uriah Heep, of which he was one of the prominent members. Ken has always had a special space within my heart as a Prog music lover and his death on November 4th 2020 left me an unbridgeable void. That said, we’re here to talk about his latest album, which came out posthumously and was born out of a curious circumstance. In fact, a Russian fan of his, after taking a photo and receiving an autograph from Ken Hensley, also received an e-mail contact from him to which I send a couple of his songs. The artist was impressed by the writings and in agreement with the Russian boy he set them to music and thus asked to have other poems that he would set to music to complete an album. This in brief is the story of how “My Book Of Answers,” was born, released on March 5, 2021 via Hear No Evil Recordings and Cherry Red Records. It contains 10 tracks of medium duration, which however differ from the sound of Heep, if not in some passages, resulting more in the form of ‘songs’ of fine workmanship but not exactly Progressive in the strict sense. The adaptation of the lyrics, which were previously translated from Russian in most cases fits the music smoothly. The chosen lineup is technically very prepared and the proposed music is solid and engaging, with some more Heavy inserts, while remaining an easy-to-grasp album. Fans of the 70s sounds proposed by the artist may be disappointed, but this record should not be approached in that sense but as a softer and text-centered work. The musical part, however, is well structured and performed, the technique of the artists involved is very high and the album is placed more in Classic Rock than in Prog. A quality listening that remains an excellent tribute to what this artist was for music in general, a well-rounded multi-instrumentalist, who in the decade with Uriah Heep has reached very high artistic levels. We will miss him a lot, this album is a good way to remember it, a last chapter that can still be listened to with pleasure, smooth and engaging. Some more commercial passages will be appreciated by a very large audience, just as the album in general is easy to listen to but never banal. The initial tracks are the thickest ones, while in the central part they lose a bit of incisiveness, and then return in style in the final. Overall a good listening, which differs from the style of Ken Hensley with Uriah Heep and from the first solo albums, but in the panorama of modern Classic Rock it has a lot to say and contains songs of a good level. We will miss you, thank you for this latest full-length and for everything you have given to music throughout your long career.

Tracklist

01.Lost (My Guardian)4:45
02.Right Here, Right Now4:07
03.The Cold Sacrifice4:09
04.The Silent Scream3:19
05.Cover Girl4:08
06.Light the Fire (In My Heart)4:44
07.Stand (Chase the Beast Away)4:51
08.The Darkest Hour4:57
09.Suddenly5:42
10.The Darkest Hour (acoustic version)4:54

Lineup

Ken HensleyLead Vocals, Guitars, Hammond Organ, Piano
Tommy LopezDrums, Percussion, String Arrangements, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Moises CerezoBass, Piano, Backing Vocals
Izzy CuetoGuitars, Backing Vocals
Francesco SeverinoBass
David GonzalezPiano
Ekaterina NadaresinvitaBacking Vocals
Roberto TirantiBacking Vocals
Belinda CampbellBacking Vocals
Rosie DoonanBacking Vocals
Jacke KnightsPiano

Ken Hensley |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Hear No Evil Recordings |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|

Cherry Red Records |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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