Fireworks

Michael Des Barres - 'The Key To The Universe' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d7/27/12/michael-des-barres-the-key-to-the-universe-4-1440356981.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 23, 2015    
 
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Highly recommended.

Electing to go back to his musical career after enjoying a long stint of high profile acting roles, the ex-Detective/Power Station/Silverhead/Chequered Past vocalist Michael Des Barres released 'Carnaby Street' in 2012. It was an album that was influenced and performed in the style of music peddled by The Faces and Steve Marriott and something I really enjoyed. Des Barres received good reviews and played it live, resulting in the raw release 'Hot And Sticky Live'. When he delivered his new album 'The Key To The Universe' this month, I was expecting more of the same; I was way off base.

The first thing that strikes you about '...Universe' is its sound. Booming, Led Zeppelin-like drums, grinding guitars, pulsating bass and the invigorated voice of Des Barres all mesh together to kick things off with a powerhouse rendition of Linda Perry's 'I Can't Get You Off My Mind'. The rhythm section of long term Des Barres friend Nigel Harrison (Blondie) and Robert Plant's former drummer Clive Deamer hold everything tight, allowing Jimi Hendrix Live Experience guitarist Dani Robinson chance to weave his magic. Crucially, he doesn't ever overplay, allowing Des Barres' voice to take centre stage, where it soars magnificently on 'Room Full Of Angels'.

Recorded live, to analogue tape, 'The Key To The Universe' has a warm, rumbling sound which allows the Rockers like the glorious 'I Want Love To Punch Me In The Face' and the roaring 'Yesterday's Casanova' to really come to life. It's not all bombast either; 'It's Just A Dream' has a breezy guitar line and would be a great summer single, while the album closer, 'Supernatural Lovers', harnesses Johnson's Hendrix influences with a wah-wah drenched Psychedelic Funk vibe which takes you hurtling back to the 1970s.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Everything about this album, from the way it was recorded, to the way it has been presented to from the overall sound, all hark back to those classic vinyl Rock albums from the 1970's. Apparently there is going to be a vinyl version coming, and if that's your preferred format, this will really give your stereo something to get its needle into.

Michael Des Barres believes this is the best album he's ever made. That's open to debate, due to the fact I'm a huge fan of Detective, but the grip this record has had on me, and it's insistence at being played over and over again, means it's right up there as a serious contender; highly recommended.

James Gaden

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