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F U L L . R E V I E W S

Glenn Hughes
Music for the Divine

Company: Demolition
Release: 2006
Reviewer: Vinaya
Genre: Hard Rock

  • If you've got an open mind and a tolerance for funkier stuff...

  • I came to know of bassist-vocalist Glenn Hughes through his brief but remarkable tenure with British heavy rock pioneers Deep Purple and have had much more limited experience with his solo material. However, it didn't take much more than "Gettin' Tighter" (from Purple's Come Taste the Band album) for me to get the idea that the man had a serious predilection for music considerably funkier than what his day job at the time generally offered.

    These days, it is clear that Glenn's funk tendency has long since become a major focus of his work, with his hard rock past having been put behind him for the most part--more than a bit self-consciously it seems. And yes, his soul (and funk) brother, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, is along for the ride, even bringing on Chili's guitarist John Frusciante for one cut. But it's Hughes' frequent collaborator J.J. Marsh who does the six-string honors on the rest of the album (with a little help from Hughes), and in fine, though understated, fashion.
    As the title suggests, Music for the Divine finds Glenn delving into matters spiritual, or at least addressing situations in which spirituality might come in handy (see the eerie, tragic near-ballad "Frail" and similarly desperate closing tune "The Divine"). The laid back, acoustic guitar-driven "This House" is a definite highlight in this regard, albeit with a noticeably more upbeat, hopeful vibe.

    No, there are no balls-out headbanging tunes to rival "Burn" or other rock milestones of which Hughes has been a part. However, this is a fairly raw, organic album (apparently his newer release, First Underground Nuclear Kitchen, differs in this respect), and when Hughes and company lay into a hard, funky groove, it often rocks impressively. For a fix of Glenn in fine funk-rocking form, check out the power-funk grooves of "Black Light," the simple, slamming "Monkey Man" and especially "Steppin' On," which climaxes with an up-tempo, riff-driven closing jam.

    Glenn's uniquely affected, often nasal vocals, are still an acquired taste, and get a little grating on tracks like "You Got Soul." However, Frusciante- whose recent work with the Chili's I honestly have not cared for- contributes a pleasant surprise labeled a "Guitar Experience" (note the caps!) on the tricky, trippy piece of positive musical energy called "This is How I Feel."

    By now, it should be clear that those seeking a sequel to "Burn" or "You Fool No One" should look elsewhere, perhaps the Coverdale camp. However, if you've got an open mind and a tolerance for funkier stuff, you would be well-advised to check out Music for the Divine.

    Note: For some odd reason, "This is How I Feel" appears twice on my promo copy of the album, while the Frusciante-enhanced cover of "Nights in White Satin" listed as appearing on the album is strangely absent. What's going on here, Demolition?

    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Glenn Hughes:
    Music for the DivineGlenn Hughes
    Vinaya Saksena8/22/2008
    ResonateGlenn Hughes
    Eric Compton3/6/2017

    All interviews for Glenn Hughes:

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