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Lower Reaches

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

As singer and main songwriter in Del Amitri, formed in Glasgow in 1983, Justin Currie wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including ‘Roll To Me’, ‘Always The Last To Know’, and ‘Nothing Ever Happens’

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
An truly, excellent, heart-felt jazz/rock album from 1978. The Yorkshire guitarist formerly with The Graham Bond Organisation and Miles Davis uses an array of fine musicians including Jack Bruce, Tony Williams, Carlos Santana, Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman, Michael Walden, David Sanborn, Alphonso Johnson, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette amongst others.
The stunningly, excellent opening New York On My Mind features sterling work from Jerry Goodman on violin. Friendship has two guitar solos, first Santana then McLaughlin. They are both sublime.
Every Tear From Every Eye is a slow burner with Sanborn’s sinious sax following the leaders thoughtful, constrained guitar break. McLaughlins guitar comes back before Patrice Rushen adds some deft keyboards allowing Johnson to add some wistful bass. This is a track that gets better every time you hear it.
Do You Hear The Voices That You Left Behind is dedicated to John Coltrane and features Clarke, DeJohnette and Corea.
A slow, emotive opening theme soon slips into an up-tempo vamp behind McLaughlins stuttering, decayed guitar sound. Corea then shines with a flurry on the electric piano. Clarke and DeJohnette propel things a long with aplomb.
Are You The One features Jack Bruce and Tony Williams. Its just a not-too-serious barnstormer with Bruce and Williams shouting the title. McLaughlin opens with some fine waw-wah and Jack powers up a brief, chugging solo, but it is Williams work towards the end that is just jaw-dropping. Utterly brilliant.
Phenomenon: Compulsion is a brief, energetic, monstrous jam between McLaughlin’s distortions and Cobhams powerplays. Ferocious.
The leader plays the album out on his own with a subtle rendition of My Foolish Heart.
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Format: Audio CD
For 25 years since Del Amitri hit the British consciousness with their breakthrough album "Waking Hours" that spawned the hit single 'Nothing Ever Happens' Justin Currie has been universally acclaimed within the music industry as one of the finest singer songwriters of his generation. Despite that album selling over a million copies in the UK alone it has nevertheless been a mystery as to why he has not had even more recognition.

However this may be about to change with the advent of the latest of his 3 solo efforts this week, the new CD: "Lower Reaches"

This album takes your breath away with its sheer virtuosity and range. The naked promise hinted at in the first track Falsetto, is realised as track after track hits you between the eyes, right through to the final and arguably best track on the album "Little Stars".

With Currie its the lyrical and poetic excellence that elevates his work into the stratosphere. His avowed intent is to "Get more Poetry into Rock and Roll" and on this outing it is clear that not only has he succeeded, but his instinct for subtle but wry observation of the human condition is as sharp and scathing as ever. This is one album that could stand up alongside, or even surpass the scathing poetry of Jim Morrison. Its truthful, and it covers a thousand universal conditions. Love, death, everything. Its all here.

The music itself is more diverse than one might expect, the production was done by Mike McCarthy in Austin, Texas. His studio is known for its use of old fashioned gear that eschews digital equipment and sounds warmer for it.
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This is Justin Currie's 3rd solo album and and although I do not love it as much as the prior two (his first, "What Is Love For" is for me, simply the best album ever made), it is another fine example that once again shows he is a master.

His lyrics are brilliant, as is his voice. I read something that likened his voice to Franks Sinatra, but a more accurate assessment would be that Justin Currie is Frank Sinatra crossed with Franz Kafka. He is quite sincere as either a cynic masquerading as a romantic, or a romantic masquerading as a cynic, and this ambiguity is what makes all of his great songs work.

This album does have a more Del Amitri "feel" than his other solo albums because it contains many more up-tempo songs (not to be confused with "up-beat"), and continues with his trademark Justin-Currie lyrics that are dark, yet somehow still optimistic, and quite funny in that "that was a stab of truth" way.

The first single from the album, "Bend To My Will" starts with a riff from the Eagle's "Already Gone" and ends with "I won't leave her until she bends to my will".

"I Hate Myself For Lovin' You" is the catchiest song (best candidate for a single??) and the second-best song to dance to.

"On My Conscience" is a kitschy/catchy/country-western tune that is great for a country-swing, with ouch lyrics that are funny-mean and show a poor reflection on the character of the character singing the song (vintage Justin Currie).

Some of the tracks do suffer from intrusive instrumentation, especially the percussion (drum machine?) on "Little Stars" and "Priscilla". Unfortunately, "Priscilla" is almost unlistenable because of it, but the lyrics are stellar and this is a great song to hear live.
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