The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

JOHN WAITE
ROUGH & TUMBLE

Frontiers Records

released JANUARY 21st 2011

 

 

01. Rough , Tumble 4:23
02. Shadows Of Love 4:03
03. Evil 4:03
04. If You Ever Get Lonely 3:56
05. Skyward 4:09
06. Sweet Rhode Island Red 3:49
07. Love's Goin' Out Of Style 4:47
08. Better Off Gone 3:52
09. Further The Sky 4:48
10. Peace Of Mind 4:38
11. Mr. Wonderful (Bonus Track) 4:23
12. Hanging Tree (Bonus Track) 3:21

 

“As much as the live album released last May was a defining moment, and as much as I enjoyed playing those songs, I consider this album as a new beginning.” John Waite 2010

 

And boy has he got it right! Teaming up with Matchbox 20's lead guaiarist and songwriter Kyle Cook John Waite has returned in style: if this is a new beginning I can't think of a better way to begin.

 

I kind of lost touch with John Waite as a solo artist after his supergroup days in Bad English so it's nice to hear an album that makes you want to fill in those missing years. This is AOR the way it should send harmonious , cool gentle songs that seem to blow in with the cool night wind on a hot summers day.

 

Opener 'Rough and Tumble' has a bluesy taste to it that both makes it stand out and elevates it, quite simpley the songwriting is stunningly good. The next track 'Shadows of Love' loses the blues and is trademarked Waite from back in the 'Missing You' days. This is already starting to feel like a winner when even the more perfunctory songs like 'Evil' sound good and fit so well.

 

January's release date really can't come soon enough because here the quality doesn't let up. 'Skyward' is a nice easy listen capable of taking you to another place; and the blues comes back for 'Sweet Rhode Island Red' which surely must be AORs answer to 'Whole Lotta Rosie'!

 

'Love's going out of style' is a nice brooding ballad which sets off Waite's sweet cigarette and whisky voice. I always liked the 'lived in' aspect of John's vocals and 'Better off Gone' allows him to soar with a country style mid-paced song that is the heart if not the soul of the album.

 

Just when you think you've had your money's worth 'Further the Sky' materialises. It's one of my favorites here: simple guitar and drums underscore a wonderful vocal that almost takes us to Free territory; whilst 'Piece of Mind' starts with spoken word about a trip to the opera and would end the album proper but for the bonus tracks, it's an odd dream sequence of a song. It's almost wonderful and a little odd at the same time.

 

Of the bonus tracks: 'Mr Wonderful' gives us a shot of swing, but its definitely only a bonus in the company here; 'Hanging Tree' on the other hand a story of cowboy outlaws is a beautiful plaintive acoustic Ballard and a great way go close.

 

Waite is back to his best. I'm sold.

 

Mark

 

Artist link: www.johnwaite.com

Label Link: www.frontiers.it