Reviews roundup – Status Quo vs. Tarja vs. Adrenalize vs. Hugh Priestwood vs. Jump For Joy
Whatever You Want: The Essential Status Quo
Well it has been a year since The Definitive Collection and Christmas is just around the corner so it must be time for another triple album best of from the Status Quo.
Quite why you would buy this, even at a decent price is beyond me, when you can get last years triple album for a fiver. But the next lot of Status Quo reissues aren’t out until January so this will fill many a Christmas stocking which would otherwise be bereft at the thought of no more Quo.
It does have a few odd selections in there with the likes of “Young Pretender” from ‘1+9+8+2’, the live medley from the End of the Road video, a couple of John Eden remixes from the last batch of reissues and the odd 12″ and alternate mix in amongst the hits. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good compilation of their music up to ‘Thirsty Work’ but with all the other essential Quo collections out there, it is superfluous.
Demons In You
Well it wasn’t even the best song on the ‘Shadow Self’ album so does the world need three versions of it on an over priced EP. Well, no.
I say versions but it’s the same backing track throughout and it’s a decent, albeit generic Tarja track. The album version which features Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy leads things off before you get a version with just a Tarja vocal and a version with Alissa White-Gluz taking the lead.
It feels like a bit of a rip off and is something that only the most avid of Tarja collector has any need of.
You’ve called yourself Adrenalize so unless you’re willing to get rawked or make lurve lak a mahn then you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Whap a cover on your album that features a Sunset Strip hoor and I’m in full blown Cock! Shock! Rock! mode.
Sad to say then that Adrenalize don’t deliver that. And it’s shame that the packaging leads you down another road because they are actually a rather good classic rock band. It’s more based around the seventies Montrose into Van Halen arena than the eighties good time you’ve been set up for but once you let yourself get into the vibe of songs like “Rock N’ Roll” and “Ship Of Fools” then you’ll enjoy what’s on offer.
The production lets things down in a couple of places but they’ve got enough good songs to make you think that with a bigger budget Adrenalize seem to have what it takes in the world of rawk.
I Used To Be The Real Me
Never heard of him. Well, if you like country music then you should read your credits more. Because as well as my personal favourite – “Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart” as recorded by Randy Travis – he has also had songs performed by the likes of Alison Krauss, Collin Raye, Shenandoah, Highway 101, Barbara Mandrell and Trisha Yearwood, who recorded “The Song Remembers When” a tune he revisits here.
Mind you, his first hit song was “”Hard Time for Lovers”, which was recorded in 1978 by Judy Collins and Ms Collins appears here. Of course, the record has actually come out on her label, so that makes sense in more than one way.
As befits a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, there isn’t a bum song on offer here. For sure it never breaks into a sweat, sticking to either seventies singer / songwriter or country ballad territory but when the melodies and words are this good, who care. Once you let yourself get into “Reflected Back”, “Untie These Lines” and “Laura Nadine” you’ll find yourself scouring those credits a lot closer. A wee gem.
JUMP FOR JOY
Bonobo’s Ark Records
What would you expect if you get half a dozen improv musicians to make a record together, some of whom have served time with the likes of Henry Cow and Faust. No, it’s not an album of Girls Aloud covers, it’s an experimental album touching on prog, jazz and krautrock.
You may be disappointed but Yumi Hara (pf, vo, key, from The Artaud Beats, Half the Sky), Chris Cutler (dr, from The Artaud Beats, Henry Cow, Half the Sky), Geoff Leigh (fl, sax, vo, electronics, from The Artaud Beats, Henry Cow), Jean-Hervé Péron (b, vo, cement mixer, from faUSt), Zappi Werner Diermaier (dr, from faUSt) and Geraldine Swayne (g, key, vo, painting, from faUSt) know how to get their rocks off in an arty farty way.
Musical pieces such as “Nie Wieder Avantgarde”, “Jump For Joy! Part 2 : Borborismes Barbares” and “Birds At The Dentist” teeter on the edge of disaster but just pull back from the brink with some daring avant garde sounds which do err more towards the kraurock side of things than anything else. It’s definitely not easy listening but proggers looking for more than just another retread of the seventies could find themselves in the midst of a rather grand adventure.