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Ted & Majella: Better Together

Best known for being half of the original, legendary guitar attack in Wishbone Ash, Ted Turner can also lay claim to having provided the acoustic guitar work on John Lennon’s unforgettable “Imagine”. Since departing his old band for the second time in 1994, Ted has been pretty much absent from the music scene, instead focusing on the intricacies of life ��" and how we can influence them. The last decade or so has seen these discoveries taken alongside Majella, a friendship turning into marriage, and now we have the sum of their creative partnership, Better Together.

The pair describe their individual musical style as New Age soul and it’s hard to argue. There’s a freeness to what you can expect to find here, as Turner provides some unassuming acoustic guitar work by way of accompaniment to Majella’s full, rich tones and the message of “compassion over cruelty” the pair have placed their faith in. In truth, Majella is the star here, reasonably laid back landscapes created for the smooth, confident but never overly forceful vocals she provides. It’s clear this is music from the heart and which the pair completely believe in, and as such it makes for quite an intimate affair where rich arrangements allow a surprisingly complex backing to appear simple and straight forward. On the down side, there’s a denseness in approach that can leave everything feeling a little stand offish and, from a personal point of view, a little uneventful. What doesn’t help is that the majority of selections are five minute-plus workouts that remain in mid-paced reflection and which seldom contemplate choosing another gear to liven up the offering. The closing pair of “I Found A Place” and “If You Believe”, which make for nearly fifteen minutes between them, being prime examples. The patience the duo put in being admirable, if somewhat overplayed.

The musicianship from Turner and a few additional guests is beyond criticism and Majella is a true focal point, but even with the admirable world view that infuses the lyrics, there’s just not enough contained within “Better Together”, “Instairs” or “Inside You” to keep you fully dialled in. Clearly New Age soul isn’t for me, but it’s hard to argue that the love and care that’s obviously been poured into Better Together won’t hold a stronger impact for some. And while there’s often much more going on than initially meets the eye, in the end, what’s been presented here will only appeal to those with a desire for a decidedly relaxed, smooth, and admittedly, heartfelt approach.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!


Track Listing
1. BETTER TOGETHER
2. DANCE WITH ME
3. INSTAIRS
4. SHE
5. INSIDE YOU
6. TIME TO FALL AWAY
7. LOVE LIFE
8. KARMONY
9. THIS IS IT
10. TRUER WORD SAID
11. I FOUND A PLACE
12. IF YOU BELIEVE

Added: June 21st 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Ted & Majella online
Hits: 207
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Ted & Majella: Better Together
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-06-21 18:45:28
My Score:

This maiden voyage for the husband & wife team of Ted Turner (yes, that Ted Turner, iconic former co-lead guitarist in Wishbone Ash) and Majella is a decidedly low key affair, in what the duo terms 'New Age Soul'. With basically Majella's angelic vocals and Ted's acoustic & electric guitars, the dozen songs on display here are stripped down of any bombast, gently floating by with a touch of jazz here, some pop there, a bit of blues, a hint of New Age, and a splash of World...think of a more laid back Tedeschi Trucks Band minus the searing guitar solos and, obviously, a full band, and you'll get somewhat of an idea what these two have created on Better Together Turner for his part is fairly restrained, occasionally letting loose with some bluesy flair, as on the uptempo "Love Life", more often than not simply providing a musical framework for Majella's lovely vocals. And, they are quite nice, in fact, that's the reason to listen here, so for those expecting Wishbone Ash styled histrionics, you had better look elsewhere.



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