Fireworks

Jim Stapley - 'Long Time Coming' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     August 27, 2014    
 
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A fairly stunning album.

Manchester born Jim Stapley has already performed with The Jones Gang as replacement for Robert Hart; certainly not small shoes to fill. His new album ‘Long Time Coming’ further confirms Stapley’s status as both an accomplished singer and songwriter. The album was produced and mixed by Tony Visconti who is famed for his work with David Bowie, T-Rex, The Stranglers, The Moody Blues, Morrissey, Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers and Iggy Pop. To be honest, I am not a fan of many of the aforementioned artists; however, I am now a new fan of Stapley.

What I like about Stapley’s voice is, despite the fact you can hear the greats such as Paul Rogers, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Steve Marriott and Roger Daltrey, he is very much his own man and not simply copying any of the aforementioned legends. To the latter list I would also add the brilliant Swede, Matt Alfonzetti.

The twelve tracks on ‘...Coming’ are all written by Stapley and showcase the young man’s immense vocal talents. ‘No Good Reason’ sets out the stall with Stapley’s trademark, powerful, Blues-tinged vocals. ‘Laid To Waste’ is reminiscent of Bad Company and ‘Hurricane’ features a huge overblown (sorry) chorus where Stapley sings his heart out; try singing this in the car or the shower without ripping your throat to shreds.

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‘Heartstrings’ is the first of several ballads featured and demonstrates Stapley’s ability to show restraint instead of just singing the hell out of every song. ‘New Religion’ and ‘Breaking Out’ have a real classic seventies vibe and ‘My Way Home’ features some cool slide guitar and is how David Coverdale surely wishes he sounded like these days.

The chorus from ‘Made Of Stone’, featuring female backing vocals, will engrain itself in your brain for weeks to come whilst ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ is a mid-tempo ballad and a real tour-de-force. The next track is the powerful ‘Out Of Sight’ which has the feeling of an album closer; the muscle is also featured on the awesome ‘Grey Matter’. ‘...Coming’ is concluded with another great ballad ‘Shield’, however, as mentioned earlier, I would have changed the running order to finish with the more upbeat ‘...Sight’.

The album has certainly got an old-school vibe similar to Bad Company and The Faces and highlights perfectly the magnificent voice of Jim Stapley. Personally, I would have preferred a couple more Rockers to replace one or two of the plentiful ballads, however, the latter is only a very minor criticism of what, otherwise, is a fairly stunning album.

Mark Donnelly

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