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Barnes; Jimmy: Hindsight

Should we really hold out much hope that a 30th Anniversary album celebrating Scot's born, Aussie legend, Jimmy Barnes's three decades as a solo artist - which is packed with a host of special guest and brimming with re-recorded highlights from the man's career - can come close to holding a candle to the canon of work it is meant to be putting in the spotlight? Well, probably not, but hot dang, has Jimmy and assorted friends turned up big time here or what? This is stonking stuff for sure, finding Barnes in amazing vocal form, as his many guests, whether they are on vocals, guitar, or whatever, are content to merely give the best performances they can and not worrying about trying to outshine the mainman himself.

Honestly, I know we reviewers often say this, but dip into Hindsight (or, it would appear, 30:30 Hindsight, depending on which territory you reside in) at any stage and you'll find something worth crowing about. So let's spin the wheel and see where we land first… "I'd Die To Be With You Tonight", where Jimmy's old sparring partner and brother in-law Diesel kick up a storm, is a rockin' burst of soul, a gyrating slam of guitar solos and a bluesy burst of goodness, while "Stone Cold" finds Tina Arena digging deep to add a rich smooth counterpoint to Barnes' gritty goodness, the one and only Joe Bonamassa also peeling off the most considered guitar lines. Add in bursts of brass and this is a great example of how to keep the attitude in check, while still hitting hard. From there, let's stop at the utterly irresistible IN.X.S. meets John Mellencamp of "Ride The Night Away", where Steven Van Zandt (Little Steven) adds glorious guitars and the backing vocals that always made The Boss's best work so good, or "Going Down Alone" where Journey's Neal Schon bursts in on the party with his band mate Jonathan Cain manning the keys. However great though these guest slots are, time and time again it is Barnes' vocals that you marvel at, his sheer power, depth, control and pitch thoroughly at odds with his masterfully gravely delivery, yet utterly beguiling.

Other stars come and go, Baby Animals stomping imperiously on the classic rock of "Time Will Tell", Jon Stevens of Noiseworks, IN.X.S. and The Dead Daisies adding his unmistakable tones to "I'd Rather Be Blind", while The Living Dead implore you to "Lay Down Your Guns" on the throbbing album opener. Barnes' kids also show up, daughter Mahalia proving the vocal genes have been passed down the line on "Stand Up", son David Campbell equally convincing on "Walk On", even if his beautiful clear tone comes as a shock compared to his father's.

Oddly, a last minute switch seems have found the one-time Barnes/IN.X.S. collaboration "Good Times", where Keith Urban took on the late Michael Hutchence's roll, pulled from the track listing (even searching for the video online now sees it marked as "private"). However in truth the standard on offer right across the fifteen tracks here means that while it is a shame, it isn't really missed.

Jimmy Barnes has had some huge hits and the very fact that he's lasted 30 years out there on his own tells you exactly how strong his music and voice have always been, even if he isn't maybe the household name his talent deserves. However this in one blast of hindsight where what you learn is that the present is every bit as good as the past. For long term fans of the man and his music, or newcomers encountering this figure for the first time, Hindsight is indispensible.

Track Listing
1. Lay Down Your Guns (with The Living End)
2. Time Will Tell (with Baby Animals)
3. Ride The Night Away (with Steven Van Zandt)
4. Stand Up (with Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates)
5. I'd Die To Be With You Tonight (with Diesel)
6. Stone Cold (with Tina Arena & Joe Bonamassa)
7. Working Class Man (with Jonathan Cain & Ian Moss)
8. Going Down Alone (with Neal Schon & Jonathan Cain)
9. Love And Hate (with Shihad)
10. No Second Prize
11. I'd Rather Be Blind (with Jon Stevens)
12. When Your Love Is Gone
13. The Other Kind
14. Walk On (with David Campbell)
15. Still On Your Side (with Bernard Fanning)

Added: November 13th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Jimmy Barnes online
Hits: 1333
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Barnes; Jimmy: Hindsight
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-11-13 17:20:32
My Score:

I have to say that I thoroughly endorse Steven Reid's excellent review above. I would also like to declare that I actually bought this one myself so am probably somewhat biased towards it. However, Hindsight (as it is known in the UK)is a fabulous effort wherein Barnes has reimagined many of his trademark solo hits with the benefit of modern production techniques and a host of guest stars. After the thorough review by Steven I would like to single out the version of Working Class man which was originally on the classic Freight Train Heart album which is a definite melodic rock classic. Here the song is stripped back, more intense and heartfelt than ever without the massive 80s style production and I just can't stop playing it and kudos to Cold Chisel's Ian Moss for his exemplary guitar work as the track builds towards the end. Superb stuff and easily the best solo album by Jimmy Barnes for many years.

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