Review Summary: Increasing tensions lead to another disappointing and repetitive album for a rapidly aging band.
"Innocent Victim" was Uriah Heep's 11th studio album and it was released in September 1977. The band seemed to be approaching a new start after their previous album. "Firefly" pushed away some of the traditional fans that enjoyed the band's previous works, but for what it's worth it was an improvement over "High and Mighty" But sadly, "Innocent Victim" represents another big dip in quality, to say the least. In spite of the album's big success due to the massive hit single "Free Me", the album in general feels absolutely formulaic and underdeveloped. "This album was a natural successor to our previous work, but somehow didn't turn out quite as we expected, as far the quality of it all is concerned", Mick Box himself mentioned.
"Keep on Ridin'" is actually a great opener, a funky pop tune that sets a great tone and is immediately catchy in its delivery. But the album soon takes a wrong tune, as almost every other tune fails to impress as much as the opener does. "Roller" is one of those songs that just doesn't go anywhere, feeling directionless and pretty unremarkable. "The Dance" is pretty upbeat as the title suggests, but doesn't offer much more than a catchy singalong chorus that wears thin after repeated listens. Then there's the big hit "Free Me". A song that is extremely popular, but just feels too commercially inclined to be a decent standout. It's in songs such as "Free 'n' Easy" that the band seems most comfortable, and it's no surprise too since it's the most Heep sounding song in this noticeably more pop influenced record. Said moments come few and far between though.
"Innocent Victim" is quite a disappointing affair, and despite the unbelievable success of "Free Me" it failed to chart in the UK. Honestly, this is not an album that i would recommend at all, regardless of you already being a fan of the band or not. "Innocent Victim" never seems fully fleshed out, and the results are quite often poor.