Roger Hodgson

Open the Door

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This is Roger Hodgson's third solo studio album, 13 years after his second, the experimentalHai Hai (1987). During those 13 years, Hodgson had his personal challenges, including some health difficulties, but he did manage a tour, which is represented by 1997's Rites of Passage. During that tour, Hodgson dipped into the Supertramp catalog and this seemed to free him of his ghosts, because Open the Door is the closest thing to Supertramp since ...Famous Last Words.... Hodgson still experiments with his music on this release (the title track, for example), but here it is couched in much more melodic tunes and personal lyrics. Also, the music has a tinge of a French style to it. Perhaps he was influenced by the French countryside, in which this album was recorded (Les Sorinieres, France); he used French artists as his backup band. The music is much more acoustic and much more gentle. The French influence is a breath of fresh air, as it is not often in heard in English releases, and Hodgson is able to mix it with his other influences (e.g., John Lennon). The highlights are many and as a whole it is a strong album. Fans will be delighted to hear Hodgson returning to the craft of writing high-quality songs. It is a shame it took 13 years for Hodgson to get to this point in his career.

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