US - A Sorrow In Our Hearts

Year of Release: 2002
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:53:00

The return of long forgotten Dutch band Us is a double-faced album in my own opinion, as the first three songs, which I find somewhat weak and uninspired, are neutralized by the other three tracks. These latter three show a band still capable of drawing inspired harmonies to the table of progressive rock. But I already leaked out my perplexity about the beginning of A Sorrow In Our Hearts, as the gentle melodies of "Rollercoaster" seem to lack the harmonic punch that, for example, a Yes song delivers almost always to the listener. In fact, the chorus of the tune is enjoyable, but not so top notch to be mistaken as an 'impossible to miss' one. Unfortunately the same path is taken by "The Acid Rain" and "Dog", which seem to carry identical faults: a not so memorable central vocal line mixed with several "standard" keyboard sounds that don't lift the tracks like they should. Nevertheless to the rescue comes the intimate "Forever Yours," which hides the average sound recording quality (but the album is self- produced) behind an heartfelt interpretation of Jos Wernars, who furthermore brings a fine guitar effort reminiscent of the ones displayed by the great Steve Howe. Well-conceived is also the title-track of the album, which transmutes the acoustic guitar intro into an electric interlude where keyboardist Ernest Wernars finally shines at his finest. So the task of closing the record with a deft touch is given to "Passport To Magonia," and the song neatly fulfils these high expectations, due especially to a choral performance which recalls some inspired passages of "good old" prog rock, along with some atmospheres that remind me of Magna Carta's outfit Ice Age. This is a quality end that manages to keep the record afloat, but I'm sure that Us can do even better, and I certainly hope that the next time my words will be validated ... so watch out!

Rollercoaster (9:05) / The Acid Dream (11:58) / Dog (10:22) / Forever Yours (5:56) / A Sorrow In Our Hearts (9:41) / Passport To Magonia (12:38)

Jos Wernars - bass, vocals, acoustic guitars
Ernest Wernars - keyboards, vocals
Paul Van Velzen - drums, vocals
Peter De Frankrijker - lead guitar, vocals

Saga - To Whom It Concerns (1975/6)
The Wizzard Of Us (ltd. edition demo) (1990s)
A Sorrow In Our Hearts (2002)
Eamon''s Day (2003)
The Ghost of Human Kindness (2004)
The Young and the Restless (2006)
Reflections (2007)
Climbing Mount Improbable (2008)
Everything Changes (2009)
Feeding The Crocodile (2010)
The Road Less Travelled (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: June 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Igor Italiani

Artist website:
Hits: 557
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]