home   site updates   review digest   reviews   featured artists   discussion   links   about us  
While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

Digest Index
Current Digest
Instrumental Digest
Remedy CD Cover
Image © InsideOut Music America 2003 

(10 October 2003) Steve Howe’s latest album Elements (Inside Out (USA) IOMA 2066-2, 2003) is a group affair--under the moniker Remedy-- incorporating rock, blues, jazz and country as only Steve Howe can do. Featured on the CD are Virgil Howe (Keyboards and harmony vocals), Gilad Atzmon (sax, clarinet and flute), Derrick Taylor (bass) and Dylan Howe (drums).

This CD is absolutely stunning and this is no small feat considering how many different styles of music this CD offers and Steve and his band pull it off beautifully. It opens with "Across the Cobblestone" a rocking number featuring Steve on lead vocals. Excellent synth work from Virgil as well as outstanding drum work from Dylan Howe set the pace for the CD.

"Bee Sting" is an instrumental featuring Steve's blistering lead guitar work throughout and Dylan laying down some very impressive drum tracks. This track sees Steve revisiting his straight forward rock style that hasn’t been heard since his Turbulence album and is a welcome return to form.

"Westwinds" is a breezy jazz number scored by Andrew Jackman from Steve's original arrangement. Reminiscent of the 60's spy film soundtracks this track is a real departure from Steve and he pulls it off brilliantly-a stand out track not to be missed. "Where I Belong" finds Steve back in familiar territory with his classic finger pickin style accompanying himself with a variety of electric and acoustic guitars. Steve vocals add a nice touch to this track and fit right in with this brisk tune. Listen to the last minute for some extraordinary soloing.

"Whiskey Hill" a short bluesy straightforward number features fine lead distorted electric guitar work while "The Chariot of Gold" features a brass section and is similar in style to "Bee Sting" also being a straight forward rock piece with a brass section background that fits in perfectly. Gilad Atzmon shines on lead saxophone.

"Tremolando" - well, the title speaks for itself. It's just Steve and features brilliant tremolo guitar work as well as a gorgeous melody. "Pacific Haze" finds the band back in the blues/jazz territory again. Steve's clean guitar works perfectly on this track. Andrew Jackman’s brilliant brass section arrangement suits the mood of this piece perfectly as does Dylan's stellar drumming. Lead sax and guitar bring the song to a swirling end.

"Load off My Mind" finds Steve handling lead vocals again. A brisk track with some excellent brush work from Dylan. Virgil really shines on this track with a stunning short synth solo. "Hecla Lava," a solo guitar piece finds Steve back into progressive territory combining echo guitar and synth guitar multilayered for a real psychedelic sound that is very reminiscent of his classic guitar work with Yes.

"Smoke Silver," is a highlight from the CD as it features some very impressive guitar work from Steve. This piece starts off in Rock territory and moves into a jazz/progressive feel by the end of the song. "Inside Out Muse," a bluesy track with clean lead guitar, is a perfect vehicle for Steve to shine and he takes full advantage of that. Gilad is featured prominently on clarinet as well.

"Rising Sun" the most driving rock number on the CD finds Steve exploding on lead guitar accompanied perfectly by the outstanding brass section. Dylan driving the piece home with his pounding drums. A lead sax solo at the end brings this rocker to a powerful end. "Sand Devil" a solo guitar piece finds Steve on Synth guitar again starting with a church organ effect and working his way through various types of synth guitar sounds.

"The Longing" starts with some very powerful synth from Virgil with a tribal backbeat from Dylan. Synth guitar is also featured prominently making this a most unusual but excellent piece of music. "A Drop in the Ocean" brings the CD to a tranquil end with a gorgeous melody. The guitar work is haunting and the sheer beauty of this track make for an excellent end to a stunning album. Elements cosmic landscape artwork created by Roger Dean make for a stunning cover.

Overall this album is the best work from Steve since his 1979 The Steve Howe Album. This is the album his fans have been waiting for. Incorporating all different styles of music this is a must for any fan of great music and outstanding musicianship.--Scott Bassin

Read further album reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com here. Recommended to Yes enthusiasts as well as fans of Steve Howe's solo work, Elements is by all counts a must listen!  

» return to top «
last updated on: