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Molland; Joey: Return To Memphis

After spending some time doing session work in the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, one time Badfinger man Joey Molland found himself so at home in the place that he knew he'd return there to record his next, aptly titled, solo album Return To Memphis. The ethos is taken further though, with Stax Records veteran Carl "Blue" Wise also invited to sit behind the production desk, while a group of seasoned studio masters were ushered in to expand on Joey's new set of songs in their own style. So if you're expecting the famous Badfinger sound, RTM may prove initially to be a little (possibly a more than a little) polite, with gentle grooves and vibes a far more important part of "Got A Feeling", which features some classy female backing vocals, or the organ infused "All I Ever Dreamed", than any such thing as a power chord. Molland adds a tired, almost emotional vocal to many of the songs, lending an air of authenticity and atmosphere that does at times raise things above the humdrum status often dangerously flirted with; his delivery engaging in a storyteller manner.

The airy, light guitar work in "Is There Any Wonder" reminds of George Harrison at his most restrained, with the slide employed offering a different focus from what is served up elsewhere. Although, as with almost all of the songs on this album, the approach remains resolutely even paced and unthreatening. To be fair to Molland, the steadiness does seem to be exactly what he was aiming at and there's little denying that in that sense he has succeeded entirely in reaching his goal. Given time a little hidden depth does begin to ooze out of "Build A Ship To Mars", "Yesterday" and "Only When It Rains", the latter track being the most stubbornly stick in head offering on the album, with it possessing the only chorus I've found myself singing along with as the album spins.

Possibly more gentle than anything Molland has produced before, there's nothing here in the way of what most people would connect with a member of Badfinger. However taken on its own merits there's much to like about Return To Memphis, even if it is the sort of fare that all too often allows the mind to drift all too far away from its undoubted charms.

Track Listing
1. Walk Out In The Rain
2. build a Ship to Mars
3. Only When it Rains
4. Got a feeling
5. Yesterday
6. All I ever Dreamed
7. Hero
8. All I Need Is Love
9. Is it Any Wonder
10.Still I Love You

Added: March 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Badfinger Online
Hits: 1515
Language: english

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