I let Eugene down on the last one, but I had to be honest, right? Let’s move on to this week’s entry. Jon will be along, eventually, right?
#47 – Progressions of Power by Triumph.
Note: I only listened to this one four times as opposed to the usual six spins per album.
I didn’t need six spins to talk about this one, even though I had never heard it before being assigned it from Eug. I know there have been things said about Triumph. The poor man’s Rush, the other rock trio from Canada, etc. I have certainly come around on Rush. I used to really get annoyed listening to them, but I have learned that it was some really good songs, mechanical or not. I had heard less of Triumph, musically. Of course, I had heard “Fight the Good Fight” and “Lay It on the Line,” those were hits here and got some play on the local classic rock channel. I even have a live album from them on CD.
But, I never really paid attention to them. I passed on them. That was dumb. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to know more, I just had other things to listen to. I can hear some similarities between Triumph and Rush much of which I won’t get into. But, this is especially the case in the vocals. Now, only about half of the songs are sung by guitarist Rik Emmett, but he has that high shrill voice that is much more melodic and smoother than Geddy Lee’s. I like his voice. I like his voice better than Gil Moore, the drummer and co-lead vox. Not that there’s anything wrong with Moore’s vocals. I just prefer the higher registers that Emmett throws at us. Also, Triumph is less proggy than Rush tends to be.
This album starts off slow with me, though. “I Live for the Weekend” is a boogie-rock type song that I just can’t get into. I was afraid the whole album was going to be like that and then I’d have to disappoint Eug for a second week in a row. I also thought it was a live album from the way the production sounded. It wasn’t. I also liked that fact, that it wasn’t. Luckily, the rest of the album was awesome and fan-frickin’-tastic.
I love the gritty riff rock of “Nature’s Child.” It gets to highlight the drum work of Moore, as well. Great flange/phaser effect there, too. I know Eug love a good flange. “Woman in Love” is just in your face rocking. It reminds me of some Foreigner and that’s not a bad thing, at all. The harmonies in the chorus are typical of the time but so well executed. The guitar solo is also on point.
So, in probably the least “rock” thing I can say about this album, “Take My Heart” is my favorite song on the album. I am a sucker for a good ballad but this gets really syrupy and sappy and I love it. The vocal melody, chord progression and instrumentation are amazing!! Again, I love it! Love! It! So, there.
“Finger Talking” into “Hard Road” is a great segue combination. “Hard Road” is a great way to rock the album out. It shows Emmett’s guitar prowess and vocal ability, well. Great song to end a great album.
I do like that it kept a little prog rock qualities but really it was a straight-up rock album that for the most part, I really dug. I have to give a shout to Michael Levine. He’s a great bass player that I think gets lost in the Emmett/Moore Machine. He has great riffs but they’re subtle and not blaring or flashing. Solid.
My least favorite tunes are “Tear the Roof Off” and “I Live for the Weekend,” but even those aren’t bad. They’re just not my favorites. All in all, I think this was an excellent album and I thank Eug for introducing us to it. If you’re not familiar with Triumph, Dear Reader, or you are a Rush fan, give this a try. I’m not comparing them to Rush, I just think fans of that band would like this one. This is a good album to intro them.
I can see Eug trying to catch up on his own list and I think I see Jon way back in the distance. He’s just had a lot going on this year. Perhaps he’ll at least listen to the albums even if he doesn’t write about them. I hope he writes about them, though. Okay, that’s all.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“I wear a song to mask my awkward face. The music helps to fill the empty space. I wish that I could hide it all away. Instead, it shows in every note I play. And I play. And I play…” – “Take My Heart” (Emmett, Levine, Moore)