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Review: 'Kyla Brox'
'Pain & Glory'   

-  Label: 'Pigskin Records'
-  Genre: 'Blues' -  Release Date: '3.19.'-  Catalogue No: 'pigcd06'

Our Rating:
This is the latest album by Blues Prodigy Kyla Brox who while sounding like a classic 70's blues soul act thankfully has written all the material is her own or written with her band members and she's also been winning all sorts of prizes at Blues Challenges.

The album opens with the brass infused For The Many that is a call to arms to overthrow the current ruling classes and bring in a far better system over full on brass led blues and Kyla's voice that sounds a lot like Koko Taylor.

Pain & Glory is a far slower soulful blues love song with a nice plaintive yearning feeling to it like they are trying to write a modern James Carr style song.

Sensitive Soul is a nice laid-back song about yes a sensitive soul this has some wonderful production with great keyboards in a Jimmy Smith style yet understated and a perfect accompaniment to Kyla's voice that is brooding and yearning.

Blues Man's Child is a paean to her father Victor Brox and it's bright and breezy strolling or more promenading blues songs telling her own story of being asked to go perform with dad all the gigs etc to make those of us whose dad wasn't a Bluesman jealous even before the trumpet solo kicks in on a song I could easily hear being sung by Etta James.

Bloodshot Sky is a sort of song of seduction for someone who's not into the advances Kyla is making on them it's dramatic and damn how could you resist her pleading and yearning to be the best thing you ever had. Rejection never sounded so good.

Choose Life could almost be a reworking of the opening titles to trainspotting set to a slow blues a gentle rumination with penitent lyrics almost being delivered as if she's at the gates asking for forgiveness.

Devils Bridge is a darker take on the need for salvation with some wonderful Blues guitar and organ to help keep the devil at bay. In The Morning is a morning after the night before tale of what happens after that one night stand when she remembers she's got a Husband and family so a great bad girl blues song with a good Koko Taylor feel to it.

Compromise is about the fall out to the last songs infidelity and how you move on, set to a soulful blues full of pain and distraction as the layers of the music just sound wonderful with the organ and brass accentuating the tale within. Let you Go seems to lift its main riff from Stevie Wonder's suspicion while totally reworking the rest of the music to add to a great blues soul to this kiss off song, her voice starts rising like she wants to belt it out Aretha style.

Away From Yesterday is rueful and sort of full of regret at the ashes of a relationship that is no more it has a very late night crying into that one last glass of Red wine feel to it.

Lover's Lake musically reminds me of Chris Spedding's version of Lonely Avenue with Kyla trying to seduce us right into that Lovers Lake and all that will happen there if Kyla entices you in.

Don't Let me Fail is a real slow burner before the real begging and pleading for love and acceptance gets going and if by the end of this you don't want to be in her arms, I think you've missed something as those horns really should help to seal the deal.

Manchester Milan is a sort of love letter to her home town, yes Kyla is a Mancunian blues woman and most likely the finest blues woman to ever come out of that city. This song is all slow and woozy as Kyla travels around a very broad tour itinerary before getting back to Manchester the Milan of the North or something like that.

Top Of The World features some wonderful lyrics that at times are delivered in a similar style to the comic songs Victoria Wood used to sing (Oh that is a compliment in case your worried otherwise.) It's a deliciously delivered song that isn't the brag it could have been with that title, even as she points out just how much of a winner she is.

The album closes with Hallelujah Come which is her re-working of the Leonard Cohen classic that is song more on the lines of the John Cale or Jeff Buckley interpretation of this now modern classic, this is thankfully miles better than any of the modern pop versions of the song that is almost a gospel by its conclusion and a lovely way to end a quite stunning album of mature Blues and soul.

Find out more at https://www.kylabrox.com/
  author: simonovitch

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