Sunday, 7 June 2015
REVIEW: AUTUMN IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD [China Crisis]
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! From time to time, indeed when "Time" allows, I like to feature the musicians and artistes who float my boat besides those in the ELOBF universe. And one of those 'other' bands that I have always liked are China Crisis.
The city of Liverpool has bequeathed us many great bands as well as The Beatles and, for me, China Crisis are one of those groups. Now, after a hiatus of over 20 years, the band have presented loyal pledgers and fans with a wonderful new studio album entitled "Autumn In The Neighbourhood". All eleven songs within have a homely if not intimate, jazzy feel to them and this wonderful recording is a real return to the heady days of "Flaunt The Imperfection" led by co-founders Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon with a little help from their friends Howard Jones, Maggie Reilly and a cast of familiar faces including Gary 'Gazza' Johnson, Kevin Wilkinson and [producer] Brian McNeill. There are some wonderful tunes nestled in this release with deep meaningful lyrics to partner them. From the opening notes of "Smile" - replete with their unique, classic 'sound' - all the way through to the closing bars of the pensive and optimistic "Wonderful New World", this is a thrilling yet relaxing album to listen to.
The sentimental if not moving "Bernard" is the ultimate ode for final farewells and "Fool" [for me] is both a sure fire single and deserves significant airplay alone. "Autumn In The Neighbourhood" dips into jazz, country and soul yet it retains a marvellous balance and the trademark sound which has always endeared me to the band. "My Sweet Delight" is sheer class and "Tell Tale Signs" must be the ultimate chill-out track ever. Mention too must also be made of the continuing sublime vocals of Messrs. Daly and Lundon. ELOBF sincerely hopes that this record is formally issued soon so that not only can it grace the album chart [as it should] but also because it will help China Crisis attract deserved new followers. [9/10]
Trax: "Smile [What Kind Of Love Is This?]" ~ "Down Here On Earth" ~ "Autumn In The Neighbourhood" ~ "Because My Heart" ~ "Bernard" ~ "Joy And The Spark" ~ "Being In Love" ~ "Fool" ~ "My Sweet Delight" ~ "Tell Tale Signs" ~ "Wonderful New World"
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Autumn In The Neighbourhood" by China Crisis to those enlightened folks who also enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-June-2015