on 26 May 2003
Old Bob puts more passion into these 16 tracks (15 covers) than most do in an entire career. It's his "Blues album" - but it aint some dewy-eyed homage, but a slightly-subversive typically Palmer take on things. And it's all the better for it. And full of humour too.
I've never heard RP sounding better - which is great, 'cause he's been so quiet the last few years I'd assumed he'd given up. God knows how many towels he got through cutting this, because it sounds like he sweated the equivalent of Lake Como. He fizzes and ferments, sears and scorns, labours and laments. It's great stuff. He's having fun - and his band are too.
Highlights for me are "Dr Zhivago's Train" (with its odd meter, and imagery), the standard "I Need Your Love So Bad" (and boy does he sound like he needs it bad), and a stinging cover of ZZ Top's "TV Dinners".
on 12 November 2003
This is prime Robert Palmer. As a long time RP fan who has happily travelled along with him on his musical path, I am delighted to say he really hit his stride with this one.
It has been ages since I have actually felt the energy of a recording come straight through and wack me, but that is exactly what happens each and every time I listen to DRIVE.
Wish he was here to tell him so.
on 26 May 2003
Robert Palmer is making an impressive come-back with this fantastic collection of blues covers.
For those who know the man only for his "Addicted to love" video, you will be surprised.
Yes, Palmer can sing the blues. On this self-produced record, his voice sounds absolutely amazing (listen to the opening track "Mama talk to your daughter" or his poignant rendition of "I need your love so bad"). The musicians are excellent too.
This is a very convincing effort and, probably, Robert Palmer's best album to date.
on 19 May 2003
Robert Palmer is back with an incredible album full of blues. "Drive" could be his best work ever. His voice sounds amazing on classics like "I need your love so bad", "Mama talk to your daughter" or ZZ Top's "TV dinners". The musicians are excellent too (including Robert's son, James, on drums).
If you know the man only for hits like "Addicted to love", try this and you will be surprised.
When I first heard Robert plugging this record by doing a session on the Paul Jones show I thought it sounded terrible, with Robert just having no feel for the blues, I thought that's one album I shall definitely avoid! Sadly that was my loss, when I eventually heard the record I thought that it was really good and I couldn't understand why I'd initially been so down on it - maybe he'd just recorded the session on a bad day?
We get off to a cracking start with a driving cover of J.B. Lenoir's "Talk to your daughter" (Robert only contributes one song - "Lucky" a nice, unusual New Orleans groove) closely followed by a semi-acoustic take on the Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Why get up". This sets the scene for the whole CD - covers ancient and modern, Robert Johnson's "Milk Cow's Calf Blues" and Little Willie John's "I Need Your Love So Bad" but also Keb' Mo's "Am I Wrong?" and ZZ Top's "TV dinners" - (which sounded like an out-take from his debut LP "Sneaking Sally...) I found that some of the covers didn't work - "Hound dog" sounded strained and "Stupid cupid" didn't really go anywhere - but others like Willie Dixon's "29 Ways" and Johnson's "Milk Cow's Calf Blues" while done completely straight sounded really nice. And while this may be a 'blues CD' there is plenty of variety, with Robert adding a bit of calypso with Mighty Sparrow's "Stella", jump-blues - "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" and the funky swamp sounds of "Crazy Cajun Cake Walk Band". All-in-all a great sounding and varied sets of songs with Robert adding his little production twists and his distinctive vocals to produce a different take on some classic songs.
on 9 December 2008
this maybe he,s last but a great one, i recently bought this album & can,t stop playing it, i followed robert since the riptide album of course with addicted to love, its a shame he died at the age of only 53, god bless him, i always thought palmer was just as good as bowie, i truely miss he,s work now, but never forget him, especially back in 1991 at the town & country club, kentish town, london.. he rocked the joint, anyway - buy this album & enjoy it if your a true fan of robert palmer you won,t be disappointed, you could have a tv dinner when you listen to it, a nice lasagne in the microwave, god bless you robert...
on 9 June 2010
This, Palmers last recording before his death, is a brilliant CD. It is very unlike his other work and he uses his voice on the songs in very imaginative ways. It is an album that does not grow old and you will find yourself listening to this again and again and never growing tired of it.
It is such a shame it does not get any airing on the radio. Whenever they say they are playing a Robert Palmer song or if someone requests one of his nothing is selected from this and I don't know why.
Very enjoyable. Give it a listen.