Uriah Heep - Living the Dream

Uriah Heep Living the Dream cover
Uriah Heep
Living the Dream
Frontiers Music Srl
2018
8
Uriah Heep have been around for nearly 50 years and in their long tumultuous and illustrious career they’ve been through several members including three singers, with only Mick Box enduring from the original lineup.
 
What then comes as quite a surprise is how lively these old-timers sound on their latest album. Finding a mojo and drive that’s reminiscent of their 70s/80 golden years that they had never quite lost, but might have felt slightly diminished or tucked away at times, “Living the Dream” doesn’t think twice about laying it all on the line with passionate vocals, beautiful riffs and huge rumbling organ leads.
 
“Grazed by Heaven” does much more than simply grazing the surface, as it scratches the listeners itch for some quality rock in quite an impeccable, authoritative way. The way Bernie Shaw enunciates the chorus, is even lovingly reminiscent of good ole’ David Byron, god bless his soul.
 
Not letting you catch your breath, the title track, “Living the Dream”, comes around, featuring a rather heavy riff that’s mirrored by some pretty foreboding sounding keys, but also a certain lyrical ethos, that hearkens back to the happy-go-lucky 70s.
 
“Take Away My Soul” is another pretty strong entry in the bands ever expanding catalog. Nice driving riff and a melodic “heart” make the song quite irresistible.
 
“Knocking at My Door” is even more rocking, with a quirky riff and a far more rousing groove, keeping the whol, excitement that this album seems to build from the go.
 
“Rock on the Road” over eight minutes of duration are occupied by the band’s rather epic prog aspirations. While it doesn’t quite topple the band’s biggest hits, the way and the urgency in which Shaw delivers the chorus are exemplary.
 
“Waters Flowing” drops the ball down by the waterline, just to cool things of, with its prog folk waters being tainted by copious amounts of acid, that make it sound more colorful than it may actually be.
 
“It’s All Been Said” sounds a bit more contemporary; it’s largely based on keys, regurgitating at best some older themes in an exercise that seems rather out of place, while it’s a decent tune on its own; it does disrupt the album’s uplifting flow.
 
Goodbye to Innocence” begins with a wailing guitar, but quickly turns into a balls out rocker, which again sounds a little more contemporary than the rest, but at least is more in tune with the rest of the album, at least musically.
 
“Falling under Your Spell” has a vibe similar to “Easy Living”, but it’s far more acidic and less straightforward than its counterpart… not that it is necessarily a bad thing.
 
The album closes with the sweetly melancholic, but ultimately triumphly defiant “Dreams of Yesteryear”.
 
An extended alternative version of “Grazed by Heaven” with a nice intro is offered as a bonus, along with an edited down, more immediate version of “Take Away My Soul”, which trims away about a minute and a half, making it a lot more compact.
 
Delivering one of their better albums in years maybe even decades, Uriah Heep, a band that’s been at it for nearly 50 years, don’t seem to be slowing down or mellowing out, facing the prospect not only gracefully but with renewed vigor. Quickly hide those viagra pills, then… not that these guys seem to need em to perform.