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Davis; Andrew Cresswell: Emergency Love

A key cog in the underrated Stackridge wheel, Andrew Cresswell Davis has also been a member of, or worked with, The Korgis, Tears For Fears, Julian Cope, Goldfrapp, Bill Nelson and John Lennon. However as a solo artist ACD has been less prolific, the 1990 album Clevedon Pier his only previous sojourn until Desire Lines in 2015. Therefore Emergency Love is something of a rarity for someone who has been a constant in the music business for over four decades, an album truly all about him. Quite a ride it is too. Taking influences from the likes of Lennon, Harry Nilsson, The Eagles and Jackson Browne, what Davis has presented here is an accessible album that maybe doesn't stretch any boundaries, or dazzle through its breathtakingly daring stance. Instead the 'old time' vibe this album sits so well in is infused with energy and verve through pure, crafted song writing. It's a recipe which sounds ridiculously simple, but one which remains tantalisingly elusive for so many.

The title track itself is an excellent example of how to take a tender theme, present it in a reasonably traditional singer songwriter setting and simply allow the music to speak for itself. Whether the gentle stroll of "Downtown Lights", the understated yet insistent "Magdelene", which I could easily imagine Mark Knopfler singing, or "Charlie's Dead" which contains an authentic country rock vibe, it's hard not to get caught up in the believable manner with which Davis delivers the vocals. Add in some quite wonderful arrangements, where a deceptively simple sheen allows some seriously intricate work to feel smooth and unforced and it's no surprise everything here works so well. However with the likes of Clare Lindley, Brian Mullen, Eddie John, BJ Cole, Andy Latimer, Stig Manley, Valere Speranza and Greg Cordez providing everything from cello to dobro and violin to pedal steel guitar, it's no real surprise that the standard of performance reaches the heights and never slips once. The feel that you're dealing with a thoroughly crafted and cared for set of songs impossible to ignore.

At first glance Emergency Love may seem, from an artist known for chopping and changing styles and approach, a little too straight forward in its ethos. However strong songs and excellent musicianship will always shine brightly and on Emergency Love that light breaks through confidently from start to finish.

Track Listing
1. Rain Rain Rain
2. Nightfishing
3. Baby Good For You
4. Magdelene
5. Peacock Of The Universe
6. Charlie's Dead
7. Emergency Love
8. Downtown Lights
9. Loving You Too Long
10. The Ghost Of Love

Added: April 24th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Emergency Love at Angel Air
Hits: 1786
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Davis; Andrew Cresswell: Emergency Love
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-04-25 00:27:25
My Score:

Andrew Davis is a British musician who found himself playing guitar on John Lennon's Imagine album as a teenager. That's pretty heady stuff for sure and a nice introduction to the music business. He went on to form Stackridge and then The Korgis in 1978 with good success and released his first solo album Clevedon Pier in 1990. He has also worked with other musicians like Bill Nelson, Julian Cope and Tears For Fears.

His new release Emergency Love will not blow you away with over the top musicianship and virtuoso performances. No, this is not that type of album, it's just ten well written and performed tracks revealing details of love and life from a consummate singer/songwriter who has been around the block a time or two. The music touches on roots flavoured rock with the occasional nod to country and blues all wrapped in Cresswell's warm lead vocals which is really the heart of this recording. He voice is both inviting and melodic, sometimes with a gentle rasp and is just about perfect for his mid-tempo ballads and smooth rock motifs. Songs like the poignant "Baby Good For You", featuring a guest appearance on guitar from Andy Latimer, and "Magdalene", a lovely wistful ballad featuring the violin of Claire Lindley exude a certain tenderness that is downright heartwarming. On the album opening "Rain Rain Rain" bluesy tinged guitar and strong lead and backing vocals are highlights. Same goes for the catchy laid back rock of "Nightfishing" where his voice has a subtle resemblance to Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. "Peacock Of The Universe" is another roots flavoured piece, again highlighted by excellent vocals and subtle B3 organ.

Emergency Love is a well thought out and expertly crafted album from a veteran artist who puts his passion and heart on his sleeve for all of us to enjoy. Another fine release courtesy of Angel Air Records.

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