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Kevin Bryan's record reviews

By KevinBryan  |  Posted: September 01, 2014

ELLIS
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Ellis,"Riding on the Crest of a Slump" (Esoteric ECLEC 2447)- Steve Ellis hasn't had a particularly easy time of it since making the momentous decision to quit as frotman of teen idols Love Affair in December 1969. This interesting collaboration with maverick keyboardist Zoot Money was arguably his finest effort, produced by no less a luminary than The Who's Roger Daltrey and first released in 1972 , boasting  a nicely diverse  musical menu which ran the gamut from the infectious life affirming pop of "Good To Be Alive" to the moodily memorable "El Doomo." The project sadly failed to capture the hearts of the rock fraternity however ,and  the soulful vocalist  has rarely enjoyed a glimpse of the limelight since then.

Twin Atlantic,"Great Divide" (Red Bull Records)- Glaswegian alternative rockers Twin Atlantic  have capitalised  on the success of their 2011 debut album,"Free," by assembling this expansive and compelling follow-up set,regaling listeners with a string of stadium friendly anthems led by "Fall Into The Party" and "Hold On." The band's rare ability to concoct naggingly memorable melodic hooks should ensure healthy sales for a package which finds them working once again  with producer Gil Norton of Pixies and Foo Fighters fame to deliver classic singles material such as "Heart and Soul" and "Brothers and Sisters."

"It Takes Two" (Fantastic Voyage FVTD 202)- This unassuming new 3 CD anthology celebrates the work of a diverse array of musical duos from the fifties to the early sixties. The contents are nothing if not eclectic.drawing on archive recordings from such unlikely bedfellows as The Everly Brothers,Ike and Tina Turner and Scottish folkies Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor of "Football Crazy" fame. Simon and Garfunkel also make an appearance in their brief teenage incarnation as Tom and Jerry, invoking  the charmingly naive spirit  of the finest  pre Beatles pop with their Everlys' influenced  1957 hit, "Hey,Schoolgirl."

Devon Allman,"Ragged  & Dirty" (Ruf RUF 1205)- This  highly regarded singer and guitarist may be the son of Southern rock legend Gregg Allman  but Devon's  parents divorced when he was still an infant, and he  didn't actually meet his father until he was 15 years old. The two men seem to share a natural affinity for the blues however, and this excellent offering represents a worthwhile  addition to the Allman family's  impressive  musical legacy,recorded in Chicago with a crack local band  and blessed with splendidly soulful creations such as "Back To You" and a heartfelt re-vamp  of the Detroit Spinners' "I'll Be Around."

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