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Deborah Bonham - 'Spirit' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/83/4f/0f/deb-6-1410045518.jpg Hot

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It only takes one listen to the album's opener 'Fly' to discover the stunning variety of shades and tones on the album.

Is there a particular gene or sequence of genes that contributes to one or one family having (or, consequently, lacking in) a musical talent? In order to find out, the scientists should bear in mind the Bonham family would have make an excellent case study. There's not even a question of this particular family name ringing a bell or not – apart from Led Zeppelin's late drummer whose persona surely doesn't have to be introduced here, there's also his daughter Zoë Bonham (a singer/song-writer) and his son Jason, whose name is already a trademark on its own (Bonham, UFO, Joe Bonamassa, Foreigner, Black Country Communion and now California Breed). Even Bonzo's late mother Joan sang lead in The Zimmers (yes, that geezer forty-piece English band, famous from their rendition of The Who's 'My Generation'). And of course, there's also John Bonham's younger sister Deborah, boldly exploring the territory of Female-Fronted Blues Rock and now back with what is her third solo album to date entitled 'Spirit'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It only takes one listen to the album's opener 'Fly' to discover the stunning variety of shades and tones on the album. Enriched with mandolin, cello and dobro, the first track is an adequate introduction both to D. Bonham's emotionally laden vocals and to the Blues-infused, reflective and – pun unintended – spirited nature of her songs. The other highlights of the album include the Americana Rock-inspired Bluesy piece 'The Spirit In Me', the groovy Country-ish mid-tempo 'Take Me Down' (the first single) and 'What It Feels' featuring the guest appearance on harmonica by no other than Robert Plant himself. However, it's hard to talk about any particular bright spots or severe flaws in the case of such a balanced, well-knitted and mature release that 'Spirit' is a perfect example of.

From the upbeat 'Feel So Alive' to the sensual, slow 'Good Times', Bonham's third solo album is a collection of Blues-Rock and Americana-inspired, perfectly crafted and sublime songs full of emotion. Harmonica, mandolin, cello, pedal steel guitar – so rarely used nowadays in popular music – here are revived and sound as strong as ever; a new lease of life shining through every note and chord. And the denouement of this varied and perfectly balanced musical performance is Bonham's expressive and very feminine vocals.

'Spirit' is definitely neither a soundtrack to a wild weekend party nor a radio-friendly album, but rather a compilation of songs perfect for late night listening. And although music-wise, with its Bluesy flavours and Rootsy sound, it's a record targeted rather at the aficionados of Americana, as long as it's the particular album's artistic value that counts for you, you'll appreciate Deborah Bonham's maturity and class either way.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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