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Hensley, Ken - 2002 Running Blind


KEN HENSLEY - RUNNING BLIND (2002, RECORD HEAVEN)
Ken Hensley - vocals, guitars, keyboards

Guests:
Guitars - Dave Kilminster
Bass - John Wetton, Dave Karns, Andy Pyle
Drums - Mike Johnson, Steve Christey, Dave Wagstaffe


Background
Perhaps this album should have been called 'Coming In From The Cold'. It's been a long time since we've had any mainstream product out of this ex Uriah Heep and Blackfoot keyboardist. But as in the creation of making fine scotches, wines and cheeses, 'these things take time'. So it proves with 'Running Blind', though I'm sure Mr Hensley is running around doing nothing of the sort! After taking some 'time out' during the nineties, Ken returned with a sort-of comeback album 'A Glimpse Of Glory'. Attending a few of the Uriah Heep Conventions must have thinned the blood a little, because from that point on, Hensley has immersed himself into the melodic rock fold as if he's never been away, or had any sleep, considering the recent workload that he's undertaken.

The Songs
With 'Running Blind', it's a contrasting and eclectic mix of styles. Ken has deliberately done it this way so as to widen the listeners perspective as to his creative endeavours. This is no more apparent than on the opening piano based stunner 'Overture: La Tristeza Secreta De Un Corazon Gitano'. A glorious ambient piece which the new-agers would drool over. When the melodic rock style is in full swing, the reference point is prime-time Praying Mantis, with that very English sound and approach. Songs like 'Its Up To You', 'The Final Solution', 'Out Of My Control' and 'You've Got It (The American Dream)' all veer in this direction. On the other hand, Ken turns full circle and gives us 'Finneys Tale' which sounds like a throwback to the sixties folk scene! The lighter than lite 'I Close My Eyes' and A Little Piece Of Me (Julias Song)' continue along the acoustic course. He returns to form with the Uriah Heep flavoured 'Free Spirit', and a number of other faster paced rockers like 'Tell Me', 'Movin In' and 'Let Me Be Me'.

In Summary
If there's a slight let-down it's the flat vocals, with neery an ounce of dynamism in his voice. Yes I realise that we're spoiled with so many excellent singers in this genre. However, vocals are a prime focus as we all know and album releases are judged accordingly. Let that be an indicator for you in your assessment of this album. In summary, it's a classic rock outing which has 'British Stamped And Approved' written all over it. Perhaps not as dynamic as I was hoping for, but enough of the 'retro' attitude to get me interested, especially those organ runs which took me all the way back into the seventies.

URL: www.ken-hensley.com

Track Listing:
01 Overture: La Tristeza Secreta De Un Corazon Gitano
02 Prelude; A Minor Life
03 Out Of My Control
04 You've Got It (The American Dream)
05 The Final Solution
06 It's Up To You
07 Finneys Tale
08 I Close My Eyes
09 A Little Piece Of Me (Julias Song)
10 Free Spirit
11 Movin' On
12 Let Me Be Me
13 I Don't Wanna Wait
14 Tell Me

Related Articles:

Ken Hensley - 2002 Running Blind


Ken Hensley - 2007 Blood On The Highway


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