Back in 1996, a little known English band named Reef released their sophomore debut, Glow. The lead track was a song titled Place Your Hands and it had such a rocking beat to it, that the local radio stations starting giving it some serious play. After hearing the song on my local station (WDHA), I knew that I had to get my hands on this disc. After purchasing the album, I knew it was the right decision. Glow is an album of hard rock, intense ballads, and purely satisfying music.
Glow kicks off with the aforementioned Place Your Hands, which is an incredible song that blasts your ears with energy and intensity. Opening with a powerful guitar riff the likes of which is hard to come by from many bands, Place Your Hands immediately establishes itself as a song of rock power and energy. Blistering guitars, heavy pounding drums, and a vocalists whose voice is filled with passion, make Place Your Hands one of the best songs on the disc.
Summer’s In Bloom is another heavy rocker that contains a deep bass line which is the centerpiece of the song. Built around the Black Sabbath-like bass groove, Summer’s In Bloom evolves from a slow, dark beginning, into a powerful, full screaming chorus with the chant of “Summer’s In bloom! Summer’s in bloom!” A powerful song that showcases both Jack Bessant’s bass guitar ability and Gary Stringer’s vocal talent, Summer’s In Bloom is a sing-along waiting to happen.
Consideration is the first power ballad of the disc and it’s a beautiful song. Showered in keyboards played by none other than Benmont Tench (of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers fame), Consideration is a moving song. Stringer sings in a falsetto voice that is rare for him, but he pulls it off with little effort. The simple time of the drums and the moody melody of the song, pull it all together. Consideration is a great request to believe in someone that no one else has been willing to. It’s a moving song of trust that emphasizes the need for faith, kindness, and compassion.
Glow has also been mentioned in a few notable awards lists. The album came in at #3 on Kerrang!s list of best albums for 1997, it placed #49 on Kerrangs!’s Top 100 British Rock Albums of All Time, and it was #26 on Kerrang!’s top 100 Albums That You Must Hear Before You Die list. I particularly agree with the last list, because this is an album that every rock fan must experience at least once.
Filled with pounding rockers and memorable ballads, Reef created a near masterpiece in Glow. Showcasing their talent as a band, this disc was a major hit in 1997 that somehow faded over time and never gets the recognition that it truly deserves. A record that is almost a must-have for your collection, Glow is an album worth visiting again and again.
Ryo’s Rating: 9 (out of 10)
Place Your Hands
I Would Have Left You
Summer’s In Bloom
Don’t You Like It?
Come Back Brighter
I’m Not Scared