Saturday, June 2, 2007

TRIUMPH: (1979) Just a Game

Triumph's first worldwide release, Rock & Roll Machine, had caused a small splash within hard rock circles, but audiences were still unsure of what to make of this power trio's suspicious similarities to Canadian elder statesmen Rush. Indeed, it was only with the release of 1979's Just a Game that Triumph would take measures (albeit tentative ones) to establish their own personality as a slightly bluesier and heavier counterpart to their famed countrymen. Once again produced by bassist, keyboard player, and all-around peacekeeper Mike Levine, the album's first single, "Lay It on the Line," was quite possibly their best ever, going on to become a staple of their live performances, and arguably, the band's signature tune. Guitarist Rik Emmett is in fine form throughout, also scoring high marks with the upbeat "Hold On" and the elaborate title track. But by comparison, drummer Gil Moore's contributions take a serious nosedive into irritating musical clichés, especially on the monotonous blues of "Young Enough to Cry" and the unbearably cheesy lyrics of "American Girls." At times, Triumph still can't help but sound derivative of any number of the era's top bands, and besides the always present Rush similarities, they also allude to Chicago pomp rockers Styx on the chorus of "Movin' On." All things considered, however, Just a Game remains one of the group's best all-around efforts.... by Ed Rivadavia, All Music

1. Movin' On
2. Lay It on the Line
3. Young Enough to Cry
4. American Girls
5. Just a Game
6. Fantasy Serenade
7. Hold On
8. Suitcase Blues

D-load album :-)
(( pw = heavymetalbreed ))

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