Former Badfinger goes down South to drink from the fountain of youth.
Elvis, Johnny, Otis: without a certain Tennessee city, popular music would be different, and veteran artists know it too well – and they know it’s there that inspiration fills the air. And it was there that Joey Molland laid down ten tracks for the album which marks his thirtieth anniversary as a solo performer. Unlike fellow Northerner Paul Rodgers who recorded a covers set at the same facilities, Memphis’ famous Royal Studios, Molland came up with original music but infused it with classic influences as befits the place, embracing a whole gamut of genres, all tightly woven together, although there’s a peculiar unraveling to his approach. The veteran doesn’t try and hide his age, and “All I Ever Dreamed” takes a tired stock of a life lived in search of beauty, while “Hero” lifts up its vocal harmonies to the bright future.
It links back lyrically to “Walk Out In The Rain” which sets things in motion with a hymnal gravity, while the slightly psyched-up “Yesterday” offers another bitter-sweet, albeit upbeat, walk down the memory lane, a fantastic one, yet their piano-driven philosophy also welcomes good-time boogie, so in “Got A Feeling” Joey’s frayed voice only adds grit and grist to the mill, and “All I Need Is Love” rocks in style. Of course, there’s also mid-paced slider-kissed romanticism, so typical for BADFINGER, as “Is It Any Wonder” and “Build A Ship To Mars” provide a kaleidoscopic guitar crunch to the gospel backing, and the memorable tune of the soulful “Only When It Rains” thrives on a twang. Unexpectedly, closer “Still I Love You” rumbles noisily showing that Joey Molland’s days of roaring vigor are far from being over and he’s as eager, having cast a glance over his shoulder, to move forward. That’s the spirit!