Return Of Crystal Karma

Glenn Hughes

Steamhammer / SPV Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/10/2001

There is no doubt that Glenn Hughes is one of the most talented voices in hard rock today. His stints with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Hughes/Thrall Band all are evidence to this.

So why is Hughes's latest disc, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Return Of Crystal Karma, so boring? This is a guy who is capable of so much better; pity he didn't offer it on this set.

Oh, let's be fair and share the wealth - it's not always Hughes's fault. Often, his band - guitarist JJ Marsh, keyboardist Hans Zermuehlen and drummer Gary Ferguson - just don't seem like they have the interest in the material, and thus can't make it sound interesting for the listener. (I'm leaving Lol Tolhurst out of this group clambake, since he only contributed to one track. No sense taking bullets meant for someone else.)

And it's not that Return Of Crystal Karma is consistently a bad disc. The instrumental track "Owed To 'J'" is a wonderful work which does show how good this group of musicans can be. Likewise, the disc's closer "Days Of Avalon" (and, to a lesser extent, "Angela" and "This Life") offer proof that Hughes could well be one of the least-acclaimed talents of his time.

But all of that goes to the side due to the mediocrity of the remainder of the material. Tracks such as "The State I'm In," "Switch The Mojo," "Gone" and "The Other Side Of Me" almost lull the listener to sleep - not the best result Hughes could have hoped for. The material on this disc was supposed to be Hughes's return to harder-edged music; instead, it's the musical equivalent of a nice, comfy mattress.

If this wasn't enough, early copies of Return Of Crystal Karma are packaged with a bonus disc, Live In South America - proof positive that Hughes can be just as God-awful dull live as he can in the studio. 'Nuff said.

Return Of Crystal Karma is a wasted attempt to show the world what a talent they've been overlooking all these years. Chances are many people aren't going to stop and pay attention to this one.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Steamhammer / SPV Records, and is used for informational purposes only.