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Bowes Morley - 2004 Mo's Barbeque



BOWES MORLEY - MO'S BARBEQUE (2004, FRONTIERS)
Danny Bowes - vocals
Luke Morley - guitars
Chris Childs - bass
Mark Taylor - keyboards
Mario Goossens - drums


Background
Fans of British band Thunder will be in two camps over this release. They'll either love it or hate it. You see, it's not strictly a melodic rock release despite the appearance on Frontiers Records, home for many AOR and hard rock acts. However, in saying that, Danny Bowes and Luke Morley have released an album that reflects their heritage - a musical upbringing that incorporates soul, r&b, and funk elements. So good on them for that. Putting aside any attempt to pigeon-hole this release, let's just assess it for the music that has been created. Leaving behind the bludgeon of the aforementioned Thunder, the duo along with their band have taken a lighter soul-oriented approach on 'Mo's Barbeque'. I suppose the writing was on the wall that these two would put out a release that reflects their background, and considering Thunder's music had an inclination toward that sound, this album shouldn't surprise anyone.

The Songs
A cover of Stevie Wonder's 'Living For The City' is handled here. A great acknowledgement but the version itself is not immediate listening unfortunately. Even worse is the version of 's 'I Can't Stand The Rain'. Come on guys, this was a disco song. What are you doing hashing it up' When I heard 'On A Day Like Today' I was caught humming Grover Washington Jnr's 'Just The Two Of Us', such was the similarity, except there was no saxophone nor Rhodes piano! Ha ha. 'Why Did You Do It' takes a mid seventies funk approach, the brass stabs a dead giveaway. The exquisite 'Since I Left Her' is a ballad that a guy like Paul Rodgers would love to do. The guitar work of Morley lifts this one a notch or five. Very nice. Taking the organic path is the gospel like 'Come Together In The Morning' - followed by the very retro 'Waiting For The Sky To Fall'. Listening to tracks like this you are transported back two decades or more.

In Summary
Initially I was loathe to review this album upon first impression. In the end I was quite glad I persevered, the deeper one goes the more surprises one is likely to encounter. Keeping it in perspective as an album of soul/rock tracks, Bowes Morley pick up where bands like the Black Crowes and Hootie And The Blowfish left off. The music itself doesn't do a lot for me but Bowes and Morley should be congratulated for sticking to their guns regardless.

Track Listing:
01 Desire
02 Living For The City
03 On A Day Like Today
04 Why Did You Do It?
05 Since I Left Her
06 Come Together In The Morning
07 Waiting For The Sky To Fall
08 Illogical
09 How Could You
10 That's Not Love
11 I Can't Stand The Rain

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