Exposé Online banner

Steve Howe — Homebrew 5
(Howesound HSCD005, 2013, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2014-01-10

Homebrew 5 Cover artWith Homebrew 5, Yes and ex-Asia guitarist Steve Howe continues with another collection of his recent demos and partially completed pieces. On first pass, it’s clear that Howe makes steady progress with his ongoing drive toward the more confident, complete composer. His initial ideas have always been strong, guitar centered pieces, and he has always had something to bring to any band for new songs to refine to completion. Five pieces such as “Silver” and “Hiding from the Sun” from Asia’s XXX release show the guitarist presenting not only initial ideas but also fully fleshed out constructs. In early form, these songs benefit from Howe’s straightforward rhythm playing and restrained leads. On the vocal front, the composer presents only two tracks that showcase his lyrical context but still his singing doesn’t disappoint. On the guitar playing front, Howe continues to refine all his riffs, melodies and chord transitions and throw in a few ripping solos in just the right place. His use of sampled Hammond B3 organ is an arrangement high point on the disc across nine tracks targeted for the Spectrum release from 2008. Liner notes again reflect Howe’s personal statements referring to the original ideas he was working on at the time. Many songs transform significantly from birth to finished product. Howe’s personal photos again accompany the credits booklet with many amusing choices for each song. Overall this volume offers a clearer view into the creative process of Yes and Asia’s most consistent songwriter.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Howe

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gregg Bendian - Research (Tiny Useful Secrets) – The challenge for a compositional drummer is for the solo percussionist to be consistently engaging to the listener. Dedicating each of the pieces to a specific personal influence helps create a...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues