Review Summary: A surprisingly predictable affair.
"Firefly" was Uriah Heep's 10th studio album and it was released in February 1977. Only three months before, "High and Mighty" had been released to a lukewarm response. John Wetton and David Byron left shortly after, being replaced by Trevor Bolder and John Lawton respectively. In spite of the poor reception of the previous album, fans still had a moderate interest in the band, and wanted to see how the newly arrived Lawton would fill in for Byron's iconic vocals.
Sadly for everyone, the band was in disarray at that time, which probably reflected on the overall quality of this record. "The Hanging Tree" is a strange choice for an opener, and just not the best of tunes. "Been Away Too Long" offers some improvement though, and Lawton demonstrates on this one that he's quite a capable singer on his own. But if Lawton does a fine individual job, what this album showcases is a huge inconsistency that confirms the fans' doubts. "Firefly" is pretty samey, and lacks a true highlight other than the great "Sympathy". "Who Needs Me" and "Do You Know" are okay enough but a bit too repetitive for their own good, and the album's title track in particular sounds decent following "Sympathy", but is really just average on its own.
Overall, "Firefly" offers a pretty easy listening experience, but lacks the great songwriting that made the early Heep albums such a treat to listen to. Not recommended unless you're already a fan of the band, because this one is almost certainly not going to win you over.