THE BLIZZARDS: Trust Me I’m A Doctor.Best not to trust them as judging by this staccato pop they’re in a mad rush as they dart hither and thither. It struts around with all the self-confidence of a stately home peacock.
REVEREND AND THE MAKERS: No Soap (In A Dirty War).It’s one of those songs that leaves you wondering what might have been. It’s almost there lyrically (a tale of small town frustration) and musically (with a chorus that sounds great at first but quickly jars) and so falls a tad short on both counts.
SOUL SEEKERZ Vs VANESSA WILLIAMS: The Real Thing.The song penned by Stevie Wonder is a far cry from this as it rolls and glides its way to glitterball mundanity.
MASSIVE ATTACK: Splitting The Atom.This four-track EP is their first new material in three years but the lead track, Splitting The Atom, is, sadly, depressing musical drudgery that could even make it as some kind of modern monastic chant. Sadly it’s as exciting as the EP gets. It’s a weird one for sure.
RICHARD HAWLEY: Truelove’s Gutter.Just when you think the age of romance is dead, up comes Hawley with this wonderfully-named ode to the much-maligned emotion. He’s used some odd sounds on here to conjure up its minimal lushness. Hawley’s heart and soul are in the 50s with a timeless voice to match. The gentle, heartwarming opener As The Dawn Breaks would have the hardest soul blubbing uncontrollably while he takes things to a whole new high with Open Up Your Door, one of the best songs I’ve heard in the last 10 years as it reaches a peak and seems to stay there forever. Sadly not all eight tracks reach such heights. Still, he’s taken romance out of the gutter and put it up there with the stars again. As soothing as a day in the spa.
(Check out the review of Richard Hawley’s Holmfirth Picturedrome gig – Page 6)
BEVERLEY KNIGHT: 100%.Now 100% is quite a target for the soul diva. A solid start with recent single Beautiful Night that’s simple and soulful and then she immediately lifts the pace with the fanfare synth of Breakout while In Your Shoes is reminiscent of Orange Juice’s 80s hit, Rip It Up. And so the mix of dance and ballads rolls on with a style that could have come from any of the last 30 years. Nothing wrong with that – and never more so than the on-yer-feet gospel hand-clapper Soul Survivor with Chaka Khan. But 100% consistency? Halve it because the impact diminishes as the album unwinds.