on 12 March 2016
After the Eye Of The Hurricane album The Alarm were stood at a crossroads. The difficult third album was in part very good with some frankly mediocre tracks and overall a bit patchy.
Change sees a return to form albeit while striding off in a new direction...the blues!
The tone is set with the single Sold Me Down The River which is a barn storming rock/blues number. The other over riding theme on this album is Wales. The band embrace their nationality in a way that they hadn't really done previously. It works!
While blues is a staple this isn't purely a blues album. Tracks like the classy, pop rocky The Rock which features a short, sharp but brilliant guitar solo from Dave Sharp, Black Sun and the folky Rivers To Cross certainly deviate from the blues without deviated from the overall structure of the album.
There is a workman like quality to this album with songs like Devolution Working Man Blues, Hardland, Change II, Where A Town Once Stood and Prison Without Prison Bars. This isn't a labourer type but a tradesman's album. Honest, tough, uncompromising.
This isn't 'suffer for my art angst'.
The album concludes with a moment of poignant class in the shape of A New South Wales which features Mike Peters vocals, a piano, members of the Welsh Symphony Orchestra and The Morriston Orpheus male voice choir. The result is a delicate, passionate, fiery, rousing yet reflective finale. This is the stand out track simply because it does stand out from the rest due to it's style and instrumentation yet it ties everything together perfectly...almost as a summary.
The Alarm needed a change, advertised a change and gave us a Change...all for the better. In the words of the title track...
'It's been a long time coming and it's good to be back'