Glenn Hughes

Building the Machine

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Few musicians have had careers as diverse as Glenn Hughes. He began in hard rock outfit Trapeze before moving on to take the position of bassist for Deep Purple. He has also worked with Pat Travers, Phenomena, Black Sabbath, and even KLF (a techno group). All of this diversity seems to have had an effect on his music. It is a both a help and a hindrance on Building the Machine, his solo effort. While much of the music on the album is in a modern, bluesy, hard-rocking style somewhat in the vein of his old band, Deep Purple, there are a myriad of other sounds here. These range from a Lenny Kravitz-ish texture in points to funk and more. Even progressive rock and jazz leanings show up. This incredible diversity keeps things interesting, but also seems to make it difficult for the disc to serve up any kind of consistent texture. There are definitely some standout cuts, though -- most notably the two covers. To be fair, one is not really a cover so much as Hughes was a co-writer of the original with Deep Purple. That track is the hard-hitting "Highball Shooter," which is done fairly straightforward here. The other cover is of Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate," a cut that has always been a funky rocking classic. Hughes plays it pretty well true to form here, but allows the number to rock out a bit more. Still, all the funk and killer vocal arrangements of the original are intact. Along with his core musicians (Gary Ferguson and J.J. Marsh) and several guests (most notably the aforementioned Travers), Hughes has given listeners an album with plenty of magical moments, but it just seems to lack direction at times.

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