Saturday, 18 July 2015

Liam Bailey - Definitely Now [Deluxe], album review

Varied With Dirty Talk

I am aware that in my reviewing I use familiar/repeated words – not surprising for the genre of writing a review, especially music where certain descriptions and phrases are bound to reoccur; and also that idiosyncratic style one naturally develops – and a few common ones are: sweet, ruse, gorgeous, amalgam, territory, sensibilities – and I’ll leave it there lest the references seems an over-analysis.

No ruse though on this debut album by Baily as it is direct soul and rock, but it is most definitely an amalgam of styles within that wide territory. I’m not sure that sweet or gorgeous could be applied, these too prettifying for a rawer sound, and the sensibilities are overall more in the R&B to blues to indie-rock spread.

There, that will do in essence [and essence is probably another, but….]. The straight rock gets a Lenny Kravitz echo in fifth Villain; opener On My Mind is a bluesy start with plenty of chug [damn, another one] and machine-gun guitar inserts to beef up the pace, Bailey’s vocal on this a genuine force; sixth Autumn Leaves is a soulful ballad with some jazzy intonation; eighth Battle Hymn of Central London is a reggae-folk homage to home and love through its religious metaphors; ninth So, Down Cold is a funk ballad, pretty [this once] harmonies soothing the sass [yep, another]; tenth Crazy Situation is old-school nu-soul, tautology intended; eleventh Summer Rain is the pure pop part of this amalgamation, strings embellishing; fourteenth Walking Out gets us to the Marley-esque reggae other reviews have cited as one of Bailey’s vocal styles, though I only hear it on this track; sixteenth Save Some Love has saved some soul for this penultimate smoothie, and the closer is a reprise of Villain with injections of hip-hop dirty talk.

Some have been critical of this album’s range; I like it.

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