At first it might seem like Eager To Please is a heavy metal album in the vein of Hensley's day-job group, Uriah Heep: "Eager To Please" boasts a barrage of dramatic power chords and "Stargazer" is built on a chugging electric guitar riff that is pure hard rock. However, this is illusion is dissipated by the rest of the album, which includes several songs in the moody and subtle style of Hensley's previous solo outing, Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf. Eager To Please is a more ambitious and studio-crafted affair than that album, even featuring full-blooded orchestral arrangements on some of its tracks, but it still relies on the same song-focused approach. Highlights this time out include "Through The Eyes Of A Child," a tale of lost innocence that highlights a heart-rending vocal from Hensley against a heart-tugging backdrop of strings, and "House On The Hill," a nostalgic acoustic tune with an intoxicatingly dreamy melody. "Take And Take" is another strong track, a mid-tempo rocker that effectively conveys the strong emotions in its lyrics through a potent combination of slide guitar and soaring background vocals. The only real problem with Eager To Please is that its combination of hard rock and soft rock lacks cohesion and makes this outing feel more like a collection of songs than a fully-coherent album. Despite this quibble, Eager To Please still offers a strong, thoughtfully-crafted batch of songs that show off the range of this oft-underrated songwriter. It is a necessity for Uriah Heep fans and is very likely to appeal to other fans of well-produced 1970's classic rock.
AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco