Thursday, 28 July 2016

REVIEW: 2 [Mudcrutch]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The connections between Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are well documented. Albums such as "Full Moon Fever", "Into The Great Wide Open" and "Highway Companion" as well as their collaboration in The Traveling Wilburys mean that fans of ELO very often also follow the career of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, just as Yours Truly KJS also discovered Roy WoodThe Move and 'Brum Beat' after finding ELO.

Many folks who like TP - particularly those outside of the States - are surprised to find out that before The Heartbreakers there was Mudcrutch, a band who ran for five years before the core trio of TP, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench formed Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Back in 2008, Mudcrutch reunited with original members Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh and delivered their self-titled debut album. Fast forwarding to 2016, their second studio album "2" was released in May, making #62 in the UK Official Album Chart. Both Mudcutch LP's made the US Top 10.

"2" is an album that has been on the radar of elobeatlesforever (elobf) for some time and, finally, somewhat belatedly, I'm pleased to comment on it here. Eleven [11] great songs are on show - seven penned by TP - with each of the other members contributing a song too. the result is a remarkable and classy recording that in places not only oozes classic Petty but also the tremendous talent of his Mudcrutch cohorts. The familiar vocals of TP are matched my some sublime keys by the legendary Benmont Tench alongside the effortless guitar wizardry of Mike Campbell, not forgetting the impressive input of Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh. In here you will find the familiar sound and storytelling intertwined with a dab of country, a touch of Americana, some Dylan influences and the odd rocker, all delivered in a style and clarity that grabs your aural attention from the first play onwards. Make no mistake about it, "2" is a smashing album and an immediate candidate for Album of the Year.

Lead single and opener "Trailer" is superb followed by "Dreams Of Flying" - another classic Petty tune before the pensive, deep longing of "Beautiful Blue". The anthemic and positive "Beautiful World" is a joy before the almost spiritual "I Forgive It All" arrives to add a wonderful balance to the affair. "The Other Side Side Of The Mountain", for me, is where The Wilburys meet Country whereas "Hope" has a lovely psychedelic if not evangelical feel to it. "Welcome To Hell", a rockabilly ELOesque stomper laced with sarcasm is the next welcome surprise with "Save Your Water" and "Victim Of Circumstance" both very much Dylanesque in style thereafter. "Hungry No More" - an extended beauty much like "Beautiful Blue" earlier - is a six minute folk tinged self-affirming piece that expands into showcase for Messrs. Campbell and Tench add their notable signatures. "2" by Mudcrutch is an album of musical contrasts and lyrical excellence presented in an articulate and truly refreshing fashion. I cannot name a fave track as all are equally good! In other words, you should go buy it! [10/10]
Find out more about Mudcrutch via this link thus:
www.mudcrutchmusic.com

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "2" by Mudcrutch to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 28-July-2016

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