Linton Osborne 2018
Dunfermline nightingale serves a series of delicious dishes destined to keep you indefinitely inebriated.
There were a few reasons why Linton Osborne didn’t last in NAZARETH, all of them personal – nothing to do with the singer’s immense talent that’s so obvious on this album. His choice of material for previous solo records may have surprised many a listener – 2011’s “Pigeonhole” explored Americana and 2017’s “Ballads & Battles” delved in Caledonian folklore – yet their follow-up is all what’s expected from someone with remarkable sense of humor and unrestrained energy.
Dealing for the most part in supercharged rhythm-and-blues as the title track or opener “Turn It Up” suggest, Linton doesn’t linger on intro riffs too long and lets his melodious rasp rip a morning reverie to raise a lot of hairs – of the dog and otherwise – which will stand on end, from sheer pleasure, until the album’s finale, where “Who Let The Cat Out?” is given a country twang. So yes, “City Of Sin” must be but a sole example of classically tinctured hard rock on the artist’s plate, alongside “Pressure Cooker” that should blow off a lot of steam, because the rest of it – not least a retrofuturistic edge in the purr of “Mud” – unfolds as a display of playful variety.
“I need a release”: this statement can seem obvious for any warbler but Osborne’s panache and swagger serve his purpose in a blistering way, with Kevin Singer’s guitar supporting the singer’s desire to unwind. He’s rolling through the razor-sharp rockabilly of “I Need It Man” so infectiously that it’s impossible not to get bitten by such a jitterbug, while “The Devil Is Strong” finds Linton surfing bitter waters and the critics-teasing “It’s A Hard Life” has sweet funk smeared all over a bluegrass-esque ripple.
More so, “No One Will Love You” is a caustic attack on those who considered Osborne unsuitable for stepping into Scottish finest ranks, so there’s a great excuse, or opportunity, to render “Revolution Rock” is as incendiary and contemporary as it gets. Nowadays, when being funny and friendly became a cheap exercise in hypocrisy, Linton’s sincerity ought to taste like delicacy.