Steve Howe: Raga of Our Times


Raga of Our Times


Steve Howe (guitar)


Spectrum (Inside Out Music 234840)

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Steve Howe (guitar), Oliver Wakeman (keyboards), Tony Levin (bass), Dylan Howe (drums), Virgil Howe (Moog synthesizer).

Composed by Steve Howe


Recorded: No Location Given, mid-2005


Rating: 78/100 (learn more)

Steve Howe's "Raga of Our Times" sounds nothing like an actual Indian raga. Inauthentic as it is, the music is not interesting enough, and, shortly after it begins, it does a stylistic 180 and begins to sound like very synthesized pop rock music. At the beginning, though, you will hear Howe's sitar-guitar in all its glory-shining bright amidst stereotypically programmed prog-rock keyboards and a five-note passage that cannot be considered Middle Eastern. In fact, it foreshadows what occurs thereafter, as the tune can only be classified as a fairly basic and rather faceless composition.

While the sound of processed pan pipes seems to dominate the proceedings, faux-sitar returns three-quarters of the way through. There, Howe actually begins to burn an abrasive, minor-keyed solo that is quite nice. Unfortunately, however, it ends after twenty-five seconds and is mixed much lower than the flailing rhythm section.

In a manner similar to the rest of Howe's Spectrum, the content sounds like it could have been recorded by any bar band in any city in the world. None of the players' true talents shine through on this recording, and, in that way, the material is very disappointing.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


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