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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Same Old Blues
Format: Audio CD|Change
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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.
4.5 Stars.
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on 18 July 2001
After seeing and meeting Proud Mary live at Donnington (supporting The Stereophonics), I just knew I had to buy this album. The album is about as much as they gave us live and that is something special and definitely something to look forward to, from not only Proud Mary with great songs like Very best Friend, but Noel Gallagher's record label, 'Sour Mash'.
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on 22 January 2015
A little while ago, we had a bit of a social gathering at our house at which, as usual, my flatmate was in charge of the music. A couple of times during the event, something on the stereo happened to catch my ear and I asked him who it was. Both times the answer was the same - Proud Mary.

I wasn't familiar with their music, although I had heard the name before. When we were living together several years ago, he had done some work on the video for their debut single, "Very Best Friend" and been invited to the album launch party, where the Gallagher brothers were in attendance. In fact, it's probably this that stopped me listening to Proud Mary's album sooner, as Oasis were big fans, to the extent that this album was produced by Noel and Gem and released on Noel Gallagher's own record label.

Damn my prejudices. For four years, I could have been a fan and I'm only now discovering what I've been missing.

There's not a huge amount of variation on sound of the album, with most of the tracks having a country-rock sound and none of them really getting above mid-tempo. If you're not a fan of that kind of music, it's likely to get very boring very quickly. But if you're a fan of the likes of the Jayhawks and the Counting Crows, you'll probably like this album. The fall somewhere between those two bands, playing less bouncy songs than the Counting Crows and being a little less rocky than the Jayhawks.

Unfortunately, it is a very short album, containing only nine tracks and running for only 32 minutes. However, it is an enjoyable 32 minutes, assuming you like this kind of music, as I do.

Sadly, despite the Oasis connection, this was a band that was never likely to make it big in the UK. Despite getting some heavy duty supporting slots, country-rock music has never really made it big in the UK in terms of sales, despite the brief successes of Shania Twain a few years ago. It's a shame, as it's a decent sound and Proud Mary are the best British practitioners of the art.

It's an album you'll only like if you like country-rock music but if you do, you'll love it!
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on 17 August 2002
I first heard of Proud Mary when they appeared on Radio 2, playing album tracks in stripped-down acoustic versions. I loved what I heard but was sceptical of the studio album, largely because I wasn't an Oasis fan, and wondered if that's what the album would be like. I needn't have worried.
The opening track, "Give A Little Love", sets the tone for most of the album. Sounding a little like The Rolling Stones, a little like Lynyrd Skynyrd, with overtones of George Harrison's solo work, this is a fine retro-sounding rock n' roll album that draws heavily on sounds of the American south. A fact that makes the Sour Mash record label all the more appropriate.
The slower songs might actually be this albums main strengths, "Don't It All Look Ugly" and "Somewhere Down The Line" being particular stand-outs, but the three minute workouts such as "Very Best Friend" hold their own in fine style.
So not the most original work of the new millenium by any means, but refreshingly good of it's type. It's a wonder why Proud Mary don't feature more prominently on the musical horizon. Here's hoping they will.
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on 14 June 2001
Say hello to Proud Mary, yet another indie/rock band from Manchester. The added attraction of them being that none other then the god of the guitar: Noel Gallagher has produced this album with the band. I was a bit sceptical when listening to the album "The same old blues" as Noel's other side-project - Tailgunner was a badly produced, rough sounding rock record. Not what the British public are into really. Baring that in mind, this is a really good album, comparing the summery tunes of The Verve with the hardness and rockiness of The Stone Roses. There are points in the album where you can tell that at least one of the Oasis crew had been involved, just by the sound of it. This is where most of the attraction has come from: Hardcore Oasis fans, dont just buy it because of that! for some old style rock and great lyrics, this is one of the good albums on the market!
You done good Noely!!!!!!!
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on 15 September 2002
Being a HUGE Proud Mary fan, I actually got the album on the release date! Their music is a mixture of indie rock, with a bit of neil young, paul weller, oasis, richard ashcroft, giving it a unique feel. They are probably 20 years out of date, but still breathe new life to the music.
The lead singers voice, Greg Griffin, has a unique sound. It cannot be described in words. Paul Newsome, who provides most of the backing vocals, complements Gregs voice to give a unique sound that I have only ever heard in Proud Mary.
The album starts off by Nev Cottee's Give a little luv (as greg would say!) followed by Paul Newsomes Very Best friend, which is soo catchy! If you ever see the band live, its an amazing sing along song!
Although the whole album is only about 33 minutes long, its 33 minutes of true music, 9 tracks of quality, and none of that nonense you get on some albums! Well worth the money!...
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on 24 May 2009
The Same Old Bluesi saw this band support oasis and bought the cd the very next day, it took me 5 music stores to track it down but it was well worth the trouble. i have hassled all my friends into listening and most ike it. from the opening riff of Give A Little Love it promises to be a fantastic listen, bluesy rocky mellow. it just gets better and better. i own well over 1000 cd's and this is definately in my top 10. my complaint and there is only one downside is that its far too short and leaves me wanting to hear much more. Salt Of The Earth is the cover version on the cd a rolling stones tune, i prefered this one live as the cd version doesnt quite capture the spirit of the song but all the same its very good. we want more!!!
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on 21 June 2001
What a fantastic debut album by yet another Manchester band. I was half expecting it to be a replica of Oasis but the Proud Mary guys have shown that they have a sound of their own and a sound that I think is wicked!
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on 23 October 2001
I bought this album with no knowledge that PM were with Noel Gallager's new record label. I heard their first single "Very best friend" and i was hooked. This song has real meaning and shows that there is still new tallent out there with fresh ideas. Don't be fooled into thinking that this album has any resemblence to Oasis, it is original and every track is individual with not a single one qualifying as a "skipper". Deep vocals and fine guitar riffs make an great feel-good album and one you'll listen to it in years to come!
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on 4 June 2003
This is an outstanding album by a band who deserve to be widely heard. It offers classic bluesy rock with a slab of catchy songs that I guarantee you will be rapidly humming in the bath. Yet inspite of the catchiness they are excellent songs - why they aren't yet tripple platinum god only knows.
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