Spike Flynn “It’s Alright” (Independent, 2010)
Bob! And Mark!
One of the guidelines for us reviewers is to provide a minimum of 150 words per review. Normally my reviews go well over this minimum, as I’ve got plenty to say and am probably considered to be pretty verbose, even when I’m trying to keep it short’n’snappy. But with this record, I could have summed it up in under ten words. But that would just be mean.
After I’d heard the first track on this album, I thought to myself “Gawd what garbage” (and I’m not even American). Now, after hearing all the tracks on numerous occasions, my view hasn’t changed.
At times, Flynn is trying to be Mark Knopfler or Bob Dylan (during the Infidels era), with some additional bluesey vibes chucked in for effect. It just doesn’t work. ‘Silver Nitrate Serenade’ is an amalgam of “Local Hero” and a number of Knopfler songs, and so are ‘The Penny Whistle Lament’ and ‘Falling Rain Blues’ but without the panache, and blimey the former don’t half go on.
The title track is simply pointless and ‘Falling Into Love (Out Of Self Defence)’ is all over the place and seems to be a guy practicing riffs in his bedroom and not quite knowing what he’s trying to achieve. ‘Runaway Train’ chugs along quite nicely, and with some decent production could have been a good tune, but all the musicianship is lost way back in the mix. The final track ‘Hold On’ succintly demonstrates how limited Flynn is in his vocal range and his voice wanders, rather embarassingly, all over the place.
And finally; press releases are supposed to “big up” the artist. A scrapbook of press cuttings, web reviews (including tag labels and links from blog entries) plus random offerings from his MySpace site doesn’t help position him in a favourable light, no matter what No Depression say.
I’m sure Flynn has done this with all the right intentions, and there are occasional glimmers of talent, but overall it simply isn’t alright.
Date review added: Monday, September 06, 2010
Reviewer: Phil Edwards
Related web link: Spike Flynn mySpace