This is Brinsley Schwarz's second solo album in his now 50 plus year career in well Brinsley Schwarz, Graham Parker & The Rumour, Dr Feelgood and Ducks Deluxe among many others. This album was created during Lockdown, but Brinsley remains old-school, so this was not remotely recorded, but instead he worked with James Hallawell from The Rumour who produced the album.
The album opens with He Takes Your Breath Away yes, he does so with some super cool guitar playing and a good list of the reasons why you want to give your life to him. Brinsley's vocals are softly insistent as he tries to convince her that he really is the one.
You Drive Me To Drink could easily be a song about Covid or our current political leaders let alone a slow acoustic blues for the woman whose broken his heart and torn his life apart.
Stranded is another slow rather precise song of love and loss for what once was and now seems totally gone as he'll never see her smile again, this has a rather lovely guitar solo that is full of emotion.
Love Gets You Twisted is the one cover version on the album, but seeing as he played the song in The Rumour it's more his version than a cover, either way this is a nice laid-back take on a familiar song of the knots love ties you up in.
The album's first single Storm In The Hills is a good chugging pub rock blues song about how Brinsley still wishes he was living in an analogue pre-computer world, in a way that really makes you want to go back to a time before we all had mobile phones, as he watches the world went to hell in a handcart, that may well have snuck through an alley or two with Sally and her mates.
Crazy World is a sparse piano led ballad, for all those suffering in Lockdown and the Crazy World of 2020 its stark beauty affirming that amongst all the sorrow and tragedy a lot of people started treating each other a whole lot better than they had before the lockdowns happened, making this a very thought provoking and wonderful song.
Game On has a country twanging feel to it somewhere between Geraint Watkins and Chris Spedding as this song of seduction and the games we play unfolds.
Unexpected keeps the hushed contemplative feel to this tale of being hit by that lightning bolt of love and how thrilling it is to be intoxicated by love once more with guitar magic sending sparks across the room.
You Can't Take It Back once you've crossed that line and said those words, well you know this sounds like it's being played in a Cantina full of disreputable characters watching the action unfold between the once star-crossed lovers, as the accusations fly, as you head towards that final duel in the dusty road outside the Cantina, well at least in the film in this reviewers' head it does.
The album closes with All Day that has a very Joe Brown style ukulele part that accompanies the first third of this song of longing, hoping she'll spend All Day smiling at him and who wouldnâ€™t want a lover to smile at them all day long, then as the band comes in, as he watches her open her eyes first thing the morning and smiles at him, rather than asking for another 5 minutes before getting up for work, the piano outro is just the icing on the cake to end a great mature album.