At last and here now, we have the very much awaited full debut album from Blues Pills, called simply ‘Blues Pills‘. So where do I start with this one? Well to be very honest, when this new album landed on my door mat I thought, “Ok, an album full of songs we’d already heard on the two previous E.P.’s”. To a degree that is what we have, but with a very pleasant twist I’d not expected!! The opener is ‘High Class Woman‘ and my god it is too! With a beat like a Red Indian war dance and mixed with heavy bass rhythms from Zack Anderson, while hot on his heals is Dorian Sorriaux stroking his six stringed lover with the confidence of a veteran guitarist. We then get to listen once more to Elin Larsson who gives a blinding performance of this latest offering from the band. After a new song for me and the second track on the album, ‘Ain’t No Change‘ which has a mix of blues rock with some southern states gospel sounds thrown in for good measure. It’s followed by ‘Jupiter‘ sounding like it came straight off the film score of a ‘Shaft’ movie!
Tracks four and five are two old favorites re-worked and presented in a way I hadn’t been expecting! This time they’ve slowed down the pace a little of both ‘Black Smoke‘ (at the beginning), and the now dreamy version of ‘River‘ which was I personally think was an inspirational idea! By doing so we can now get to hear the stunning and very mature sound of Elin’s beautiful voice. The songs now begin to take me back to the old Fleetwood Mac feel these very young but accomplished performers have resurrected, and with such a confidence about them. To do this in an age where it would seem most people just want to hear a boom boom boom beat followed by someone pretending to sing but just talking, Rapp I think it’s called, crap I call it! For these guys (and gal) to buck the trend and not be afraid to be the shepherds and not sheep is something I really admire about them. Commitment in what they believe and feel is the biggest part of being a sustainable group that are in it for the long haul and not just a fast buck! These are very early days yet in the life of Blues Pills even though they have been playing as a true full time band since December 2011. It will be a hard journey, there will be massive highs and depressing lows. But if they can keep it all together I’m convinced they’ll still be around in the years ahead.
Now you can listen to Elin in this short promo video……
Video directed by Joan Manuel Urquiaga Valdes
The classic album artwork was created by artist Marijke Koger-Dunham. It was actually painted sometime in the late 60’s, but fits this 20-tee’s visual style and sound perfectly.
Now, back to the music! ‘No Hope Left For Me‘ is a magical almost dreamy ballad, played to perfection. It’s easy going calm feel belays the amount of effort they put in to bring this song to life. The track has real mainstream radio potential, and when I listen to it’s style and the way that Elin sings, I feel it’s a tribute to Blues Pills to say that this is a song the great Carol King could have written and performed. I’m sure if your already a Blues Pills fan you’ll all be fairly familiar with ‘Devil Man‘ even though this song as also been given a complete re-vamp and sounds awesome as usual! So I’ll move onto ‘Astralplane‘, and if your thinking like me, to coin an old Monty Python phrase “Albatross”! Great lyrics, a powerful delivery combined with some great guitar playing by both lead and bass, and a precise methodical beat, brilliant!
‘Gypsy‘ a faster paced song offering just a slightly differing style to the norm. It’s nice to see the band exploring other avenues of musical delivery, and with this song they’ve got it right again! Finishing off the album with an old favorite ‘Little Sun‘. They have here again sat back, thought about it, and re-worked the song to a higher level of maturity befitting this groups chosen style. This is remember the ‘debut album’, and if this is the level Blues Pills have got to now, what stunning pieces of work are we going to be treated to in the future? I’d recommend anyone to watch this band really closely and just remember that from little acorns, big Oaks and all that! Got it ??