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Ten: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Ten - Something Wicked This Way Comes Album Art

Ten: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Melodic Hard Rock
3.0/5.0

When the COVID hit and the world went into lockdown, many musical artists and bands found that this was not the worst of scenarios. It gave them to time to hunker down and work on new music. That's exactly what Gary Hughes did with his band Ten. They recorded two new albums in a short period of time (not unlike their first two albums many years ago). Ten gave us Here Be Monsters last February. Now they drop their latest and fifteenth studio album, Something Wicked This Way Comes. Before you ask, there is no thematic relationship between the two.

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Ten

Regarding Something Wicked This Way Comes, I hope my comments will be brief. Probably not. (Stop laughing.) If you know Gary Hughes and Ten, then you know exactly what to expect from this crew: classic melodic hard rock with Hughes' voice at the helm. Take a moment to read any of my past reviews and you will see that Ten is constant and consistent in this fashion. There's no reinventing the wheel and no adventurous diversions into strange new genres. The age old adage applies: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ergo, if you're a fan, then you can stop reading here and simply buy the album. You will be pleased and satisfied.



For me, I take interest in a Ten album for, perhaps, different reasons. Mostly, I like music of a Ten album. For pure classic rock, Ten arrangements are hard to beat. I enjoy the song melody and harmony, the effortless rock rhythm and groove, the tandem mix of keyboards and guitars, and the significant solos from both. However, and if you did read some of my previous reviews, in the best case scenario, I'm ambivalent to Hughes' vocal style. For this listener, he always sounds the same: flat and monotonous.

Ergo, as I've often also said, I wonder what a Ten album would be like with a different singer. But that ain't ever happening. Ten is Gary Hughes. Hughes = Ten. However, as a vocalist, what Hughes is very good at is creating and following song melody and harmony (which in some of today's music can be a lost art). So then, taking account the music of the songs, my top picks would be When Darkness Comes, Brave New Lie, and Look For The Rose. Alternatively, songs like the title cut and The Greatest Show On Earth seemed somewhat slow and plodding, and didn't keep my interest.

Nevertheless, as I said two paragraphs ago, if you're a fan of Ten and Gary Hughes you will find Something Wicked This Way Comes another practical album of their classic melodic hard rock. No frills, just constant Ten and there's great many things to be said for consistency and a signature sound.


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The Take Away

If you're a fan of Ten and Gary Hughes you will find Something Wicked This Way Comes another practical album of their classic melodic hard rock. No frills, just constant Ten and there's great many things to be said for consistency and a signature sound.

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