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5.0 out of 5 stars
Return To Perfection, 21 April 2011
It's a crime to the rock fraternity that 20 years have gone by since the original line up of Unruly Child treated us to their superb blend of classy vocals, hit potential songwriting, and top class musicianship from each member to create a worthy contender for best album of all time. They've done it again!
Each of the 12 songs catchy enough to either sing along or dance to.
M. Free's voice is as emotive as ever throughout. Considering he only has the writing credits for one track outright plus two collaberations with guitarist Gowdy and keyboardist Allison, must serve as a testament to the latter two main songwriters that their skill and passion is so suited to the singers style and capabilities - the magic is as potential as their debut.
At times this album is slightly more laid back than the debut, a few more ballady types in the mix with boppy radio friendly beats and one real Eastern flavoured track that is their answer to Led Zep's Kashmir. They do this particular track with such panache, switching in and out of the Eastern rhythm section and a trademark Unruly Child construction, it leaves you stunned.
Bruce Gowdy has excelled his guitar technique this time, blending his developing slide style so smoothly into the mainstream style it seems we have a truly underestimated name to go along with the other household names of fame.
Guy Allison makes his keyboard work more intricate and diverse this time with atmospheric and digital sounds enhancing each of the tracks in ingeniously unexpected ways, most noticeably in a truly beautiful way on the final track by M. Free.
The rhythm section of Jay Schellen - drums and Larry Antonino - bass are constantly flawless which takes incredible skill considering the songwriting structure of the highest degree, blending smooth sounding passages along with time changes enabling each song to be interestingly unique without losing any cohesion of hit status.
I would never have expected Unruly Child to rival their long loved debut ( which is still a regular on my playlist. ) To surpass that may sound incredible or even impossible. It may be a debate for the future - dare I say until the next one?
Long may Unruly Child reign, they deserve more recognition from the world at large. Their UK appearance at Firefest in Nottingham later this year may address that balance somewhat.