On The Air Tonight
added: 21 Oct 2012
// release date: 15 Oct 2012 // label: Ennismore Records
reviewer: David Spencer
Colin Blunstone is without doubt the owner of one of British rock and pop music’s best voices of the last 40 years and here returns to the studio for his 11th solo album. It is released after another extensive tour with The Zombies, the band with which he recorded the classic hits She’s Not There and Time of the Season.
Despite this rich history, there is still a surprising panache to this collection of mainly middle of the road songs, with Though You Are Far Away proving Blunstone still has a voice to die for. The track was originally recorded on his first solo album in 1971 but is given a gorgeous makeover here.
Two songs are written by Blunstone himself and sit side by side on the album, although they could not be much more different. So Much More’s a typical gentle pop ballad, while the salsa-flavoured Dancing In The Starlight is a pleasant surprise. The opening Turn Your Heart Around sounds like a seventies radio hit (with two typically over the top guitar solos), and it is not surprising it was written sometime ago, when Blunstone was in the band Keats with former Camel member, the late Pete Bardens.
Bardens also wrote the title track, which is just a bit too close to sounding like Air Supply for it to be healthy but piano-ballad The Best Is Yet To Come is better. It is co-written with former Spice Girl Melanie C and has a Gary Barlow feel with its simple platitudes about love and loss. There is also a version of English singer-songwriter Duncan Browne’s Wild Places, which Blunstone had recorded before Browne’s death but never released, and here is reminiscent of material recorded by Paul Carrack during his poppier days.
Like many great singers and writers from the fifties and sixties, Blunstone has proved that even after five decades in the industry, given some quality production and a geart band, he still has something to contribute.
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