Ian Mcnabb Import
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1 x CD Album
|1||Livin' Proof (Miracles Can Happen)||4:19|
|2||Whatever It Takes||3:22|
|3||What You Wanted||4:15|
|5||(If We Believe) What Love Can Do||4:29|
|6||Alright With Me||4:41|
|9||Nothin' Less Than The Very Best||4:56|
|11||Rockin' For Jesus||4:02|
|12||Friend Of My Enemy||4:56|
|13||Moment In The Sun||4:03|
|14||(I Wish I Was In) California||3:47|
For obvious reasons, any Liverpudlian with a guitar and a recording contract is going to have an awful lot to live up to. Fortunately, Ian McNabb's eponymous album, his first electric outing in five years, shows him up to the task. Record sales may have been disproportionately low in relation to his manifold songwriting talents--the former Icicle Works frontman was a Mercury Music Prize nominee (for Head like a Rock, his 1994 ragged country-rock album with Crazy Horse)--but on the strength of Ian McNabb--Def Leppard will know who to turn to if they ever get stuck for tunes. Yes, Ian McNabb has very nearly made a heavy metal album. Thus "Livin' Proof", "Friend of My Enemy" and the knowingly corny (he can be such a wag) "Whatever It Takes" all sport monster-of-rock power riffs, phallic guitar solos and radio-friendly melodies as mentally adhesive as a strip of Elastoplast across the forehead. On the flip-side, McNabb's recently favoured role as the plaintive troubadour pays further dividends on the lonesome, Neil Young-styled "Hotel Stationary" and "Hollywood Tears", a broadside at socially conscious celebrity insincerity performed as a duet with Cousteau vocalist Liam McKahey. Throw in some perky, obligatory Merseypop gems ("Liverpool Girl", "Moment in the Sun") and it's another rather good Ian McNabb record. --Kevin Maidment
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Overall thoughts:- POWER CHORD HEAVEN!! It's not as easy to pick a stand-out track as on other Boots albums, probably because this album has the most consistent sound so far. I'm sure a few more listens will distill out a few personal faves.
1. Livin' Proof: Great opener, ideal radio fodder (if only), almost sets the pace for the rest of the album (it gets louder, harder, hotter!)
2. Whatever it takes: AC/DC riff, slide guitar solo. Methinks this album is going to be little like previous affairs...
3. What you wanted: Intro sounds like an extended outro to the previous track when it kicks off, then into a more laid back verse. The chorus blew my.. scalp off!
4. Liverpool Girl: Bloody hell! A wee bit different to the acoustic version, and about twice as fast. Chugs along a la "Understanding Jane". Love the sound effects during the "Goes to Cream" verse. Like I was almost there, man!
5: (If We Believe) What Love Can Do: Phew! Time for a breather. More traditional McNabb album filler territory. Nice groove with it.
6: Alright With Me: Shift change up one gear. Not quite as "in your face" as the first four tracks, and sounds more like traditional McNabb fare. Great stuff.
7: Hollywood Tears: Melancholic feel, gentle piano chords, pedal steel, plenty of atmosphere, no percussion, horns. Second vocals fit in well, actually sounding very much like Ian. Suspect this is a grower.
8: Open Air: Ian remembers to plug his guitar in again. An absolute cracker. Not a huge blast of sound as the 4 openers, but carries on in the same vein as Alright With Me. Great to drive to!
9: Nothin' Less Than The Very Best: I love the sound of this one. Had it been released on "T&B" or "Merseybeast" it would have been the stand-out track due to it's "anthemic rock" feel. The effect on this album is somewhat lessenened because you've already had the aural equivalent of a rabbit punch to the kidneys! Love it already, and is bound to get better.
10: Hotel Stationary: Intro is like "Fire Inside My Soul" done in the style of "Pirate Looks at Forty". Seems oddly out of place on this album, at least after one listen. Similar in style/feel to Hollywood Tears. IMHO the jury's out, but who knows what the verdict will be after some more deliberation....
11: Rockin' for Jesus: Unlike previous posts re this song, I think it's hilarious! Can't wait to hear it on "Songs of Praise". The Ronseal track of the album (ie it does exactly what it days on the box).
12: Friend of My Enemy: Another anthemic rock track, in the vein of "Nothin' Less Than The Very Best". Reminds me of some long forgotten early 80's stadium rocker's set opener, mixed with a healthy pinch of that mysterious quality, "McNabbiness". Shades of Firepower in there somewhere.
13: Moment in The Sun: Catchy, upbeat pop song in typical Icies style (self-contradiction, surely?), enhanced with heavier guitar sound. Good contrast with previous track, and if there were to have been any singles, this would have been a contender.
14: (I Wish I was in) California: Ian McNabb does The Beach Boys doing Evangeline. What a combo!
Overall thoughts: I must admit, I thought that a self-titled album after 10 solo years would be more of a snap-shot/combination of previous styles. Instead, we have a great rock album which deserves to stand or fall on it's own merits. Stand it surely will.
The shop was really like a Boot Sale stall and the nice old lady who ran it was chatty. Apart from this excellent album which I like a lot I got Led Zeppelin "Physical Graffiti also for 00.50p.
Ian McNabb is very underrated except by his own dedicated fan base. I have some older stuff which I played a lot back then. Well worth a listen Ian Mcnabb
Buy any one of IMs albums and you won't be disappointed. Merseybeast is also a cracking album.
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