Roy Harper

Garden of Uranium

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    5
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Much like his other releases from the 1980s, this 1988 album found Roy Harper shunning simplicity in favor of convoluted atmospherics and strange soundscapes. Garden of Uranium was originally titled Descendants of Smith when it was first released. Harper chose to change the name when the CD was issued due to a disagreement with his label. Both of the title tracks work well, as they are straightforward, but many of the other songs are not very effective, despite some nice fretless bass from Tony Franklin. In fact, a few tracks actually work better as poems than musical pieces, such as "Pinches of Salt" and "Liquorice Alltime." When Harper plays to his strengths, as he did on 1992's stunning Death or Glory?, the results are often spectacular. Garden of Uranium fails in this regard but is still a decent representation of Harper's ability.

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