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Procol Harum: Novum (Eagle Records)

May. 16, 2017
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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band that helped define the early sound of progressive rock with “A White Shade of Pale,” Procol Harum has released a record of 11 new songs. Novum is the band’s first studio album in 14 years, following 2003’s The Well’s on Fire. The current lineup still includes one founding member, singer and pianist Gary Brooker, who turns 72 on May 29. Most of his Novum bandmates have played in Procol Harum since the early ’90s and boast strong pedigrees with such other artists as Jethro Tull, Van Morrison and Pete Townsend. Shades of the blues haunt some of this work, hearkening back to the band’s earlier days. For the most part, these are pleasant and straightforward offerings with universal lyrics, highlighted by the witty romper “Neighbour.” 

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