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Give A Little Love
on 5 September 2003
Bluesy rock is something that hasn't been quite popular for quite a long time. Long have been the days since The Rolling Stones and The Faces and Creedence Clearwater Revival, ruled the airwaves and were actually fresh and cutting-edge...
Oasis man Noel Gallagher signed Proud Mary up a few years ago, and he must have loved something about them to convince him that they were worth the time and the money, despite writing and performing music from a genre that had become somewhat lost in the airwaves, and you can actually see why Noel had faith in them.
Reliving the good old days of blues rock, Proud Mary have written 8 satisfyingly bluesy, if not totally original, songs that could be up there with some of the greats, and one cover version of The Rolling Stones', 'Salt Of The Earth', which may surprise many people in the fact that it's not the best track on the album. Despite its short length of just over half an hour, 'The Same Old Blues' (an apt, but good title) does provide everything that's expected of it, and perhaps a little more. Mainly acoustic work, the influences of the previously mentioned bands shine right through. But don't get them wrong they are not copycat artists, they do add their own little touches. For example, the vocalist has a voice that isn't really like many others, and has an almost country vibe to it, which is quite surprising when you find out that they're from a similar area to where Oasis come from...
But everything is in its rightful place and is exactly where it should be. Opener, 'Give A Little Love' has a very nice acoustic opening, and slowly (the chosen word, this is not a high-paced record) moves into the signs of things to come. Smooth bluesy guitars, direct, if simple drum work, and gravely cigarette tinged vocals. The formula doesn't let up at all throughout, and it's nothing but a good thing. Although lead single and second track, 'Very best Friend' is slightly more up-pace, you'll find that you're right back on track throughout the rest of the album, with songs that although keep a similar pace are quite individual from one-another.
'Just For You' is an essential song all those wishing people well, with it's slow acoustic opening to it's uplifting lyrics, ' Don't It All Look Ugly', is quite upbeat despite its title, with a soaring chorus and some fine vocals, and the albums title-track is a sweeping ending to a fine album.
So in recent times there's been a lack of fresh music on the blues rock market, mainly because there's been no-one buying into it, and as good a record as this is, it won't change anything, despite it being found in the Rock and Pop section and having a Gallagher brother credited for production...
But who needs the mainstream? Perhaps it's a blessing that Proud Mary weren't properly discovered, because they probably wouldn't sound half as good and there would be all sorts of clones flying around, because you get the distinct feeling that Proud Mary just don't want to be cool. If they had wanted to be, this would have been slightly more radio-friendly, but as it is, it's a fine example of how to do blues rock properly, like in the 70's, now and always.