Cherry Red 2018
Another aspect of creative coupling for classic rock guitarist results in spiritual ritual to caress the listener’s soul.
The first to leave the original WISHBONE ASH line-up, Ted Turner didn’t follow the twin-barrel format his former colleagues adhered to, and his path has been well hidden from public eye until a few years back, when the veteran re-emerged in the company of wife Majella with a set of songs which were new in sound, direction and approach, reflecting and celebrating their joint journey to becoming one – with each other and with nature. That’s how this album came into existence to defy expectations and pacify the psyche from the soft, uplifting treble of the transparent title track, where Ted’s fluid licks intersperse Majella’s soulful vocals, to the joyous “If You Believe” where their voices blend so blissfully.
There’s hymnal ascension in the sparsely sparkling “I Found A Place” which is epic in scope and delicate in delivery, yet Turner’s fans mustn’t worry. “Instairs” has a familiar twang to it, as well as an infectious refrain, and “Dance With Me” rides a tasty riff very much in the mold of his old ensemble before its ripples pass funky jive to a scintillating chorus and an unhurried, if filigree, six-string solo whose multi-faceted weave will offer a way to universal harmony. But if “Karmony” may serve as philosophical home to rhyme, reason and rhythm for such an idealistic concept, the folk tincture and cosmic groove of “She” – an acoustic paean to many a simple pleasure – amount to the record’s lightest moments, while the tribal beats of “Love Life” render overall picture exhilarating and transfixing at the same time.
With the hypnotic “Truer Word Said” a lyrical, polyphony-flashing pinnacle of this album, and the drops of near-silence making “Time To Fall Away” solemnly seep in the listener’s mind, it’s impossible not to admire Ted and Majella’s debut as a musical unit. A little didactic in places, “Better Together” is welcoming nevertheless.