Tuesday, February 15, 2011
BABY CAME BACK
Three decades have passed since a teenager from northwest England first packed his bags for London to pursue his passion for music. With The Babys, Bad English and a solo career, John Waite has shown formidable staying power, amassing chart-topping records and sold-out concerts around the world. 2011 finds the singer/songwriter releasing a new solo album, “Rough and Tumble.”
I don't know why all my favorite artists take a long time between records. In John Waite's case, many of his releases are patchy, with can't miss hits sandwiched in between tracks that do not do much for me. For me, John's finest hour was the brilliant Temple Bar album from 1995. Now all that said, Rough And Tumble was an album I've been anticipating for almost a year, and any John Waite is good John Waite in my book. This album is true to form, with moments of utter brilliance, but comes up short of classic.
The title track is hard edged with a raw swagger that harkens back to his early days-heavier than anything John has done in a long time, and there are a couple of moments of pure magic (Shadows Of Love and If You Ever Get Lonely) that easily could have been lifted from "No Brakes." The re-recording of "Mr. Wonderful" is interesting but pointless, and the haunting "Hanging Tree" provides another touch of brilliance that sounds like it came straight off Temple Bar.
The album's highlights far outweigh the filler, and it's been a long time since JW produced a flawless piece of art, so I recommend this to anyone who loved Temple Bar.
Sadly, I have heard that JW has unreleased tracks a' plenty that any artist would sell their soul to release. Please John-can you think about a box set?