added: 7 Jul 2012
// release date: 28 Jun 2012 // label: Round Records
reviewer: Andy Snipper
Ginger Wildheart has been around the music scene since he joined the Quireboys – his first live gig was as support to Guns ‘N’ Roses at the Rainbow in ’88. He was sacked/left in late ’89 and formed The Wildhearts made up of various members of Dogs D’Amour and Tobruk as well as others. He has been the main man for the Wildhearts ever since, writing most of the material and standing out as the front man for over 20 years with the band.
In the years between 2006 and now he has also been a solo artist and performer and built a massive fan base, using social media to keep them in touch with all his projects
In August 2011, after failing to find a record company that could match his vision for a triple album of solo material, he decided to launch an appeal to his fans and used Pledgemusic, a platform that allows fans to fund recordings and other activities. It was titled ‘The Triple Album Project’ and hit 100% of its target inside SIX hours of the launch!
The final part of the story was the selection of the final cut of tracks for the album by the fans, resulting in the '100%' album reviewed here.
The thought of Ginger Wildheart as a pop icon is not an easy one to take on board but this album sits right in the Californian Pop/Rock pigeonhole. You can hear every minute of his 25 years in music and all in a good way as the hooks and choruses pour out at you.
Once you get past the remarkable story of how the album was paid for and the involvement of the fans in the whole project you are left with 53 minutes of music and that is all Ginger.
The songs are rich and powerful but far more on the side of melody than one might have expected from the voice of the Wildhearts although there is plenty of power on tap when he needs it.
Take the changes on ‘Taste Aversion’:it starts with a voice over a piano, moves to a mid-seventies pop-march complete with harmonies and then moves into an almost prog-like middle with competing voices and a few moments of metal – and all in 5 and a half minutes. And it works. Nothing feels as though it is there for effect but rather it forms a completely sensible flow.
‘Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow’ sounds like it could have been influenced by Parliament or Cameo but again, those pop sensibilities and the harmonies take it to a whole new plane.
‘Time’ feels like the real heart of Ginger Wildheart. A huge and complex piece that touches on many different styles but throughout it stays true to the song and its theme.
Ginger has achieved a really fine album here. It is not surprising, given the small mindedness of the ‘Business’ these days, that he had to look for new ways to make the project happen but the result is an album that really works as a piece of music.
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