I’m pleased to report another happy musical discovery this week. This time via Liam Neeson’s latest big screen outing: Taken 2. An enjoyable flick I might add. If you enjoyed the first installment, then this is pretty much more of the same. (But great fun in it’s own right no less).
The movie concerns long time CIA agent Bryan Mills and how his tough guy life-style spills over into his private life. Shame when your life choices adversely affect those you love; but if you’re in Mills’s line of work, then the ability to kick an ass or ten comes in handy.
OK, so I’m a Neeson fan; perhaps my enjoyment of the movie was biased by how much I looked forward to it? Not for everyone I expect. But somehow Neeson makes the character believable. (Seems as much at home defeating bad-guys as he did fighting wolves in The Grey). I also think the character’s well written, so I wonder will he find himself the subject of another plot, aside from saving his kin-folk yet again of course? ;o)
Anyway, I digress. This enjoyable movie outing (with my big sis) led me to the discovery of another musical artist for my collection. Great tempo for the closing credits and an excellently soulful male vocal had me sitting thru’ screenfulls of text, just to see who the hell it was. (If only I’d been in the projection booth with access to the fast forward button).
Pleasantly surprised to have discovered another British singer-songwriter as it happens. My sister called it as Adam Levine out of Maroon 5, which I can actually see. But whilst Alex Clare’s voice does have a similar quality of inflection, it’s not quite in the same vocal register. The Lateness of the Hour is Clare’s debut album, having been released in July 2011. So I’m actually looking forward to hearing more from this talented Londoner.
Clare hails from Southwark in the South East of London (England). And this London lad has a great set of lungs on him is all I can say. His vocals have real depth and power; (enuff to penetrate ya lug-holes and rattle ya spine).
As for so many of us, Clare was influenced by his father’s musical tastes (jazz in his case). He was also drawn to blues and soul, which I guess has had more of an affect on his basic vocal style. Though later interests progressed to drum and bass, Dubstep and UK garage. As a multi-instrumentalist he has a special talent for writing and performing his own material, that’s for sure. The variety of musical tastes and influences cited here certainly makes him someone worth keeping an eye on in my book. Great first album.
This particular record has had a bit of a slow start apparently and Clare was dropped from his record contract with Universal Island in the UK. Buggered if I know why, ‘cos it didn’t take many spins for me to get into? Plus I look forward to discovering more as his career progresses. Let’s hope somebody with a brain picks him up.
As already mentioned the initial track that lead me to the album (‘Too Close’), smelled slightly of Levine; tho’ with a tad more grit in the delivery. I like Maroon 5, but Levine’s somewhat higher pitched; so he sounds like he’s singing closer to the vocal chords than the gut, if you know what I mean?
‘Too Close’ is my favorite track at the moment, tho’ there’s plenty of other gems to discover. I especially like the opening tracks ‘Up All Night’ and ‘Treading Water’; plus the lighter vocals on ‘Humming Bird’. There’s also a cover of Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’, but that’s actually taking me quite a while to warm to. I would’ve preferred Clare to stick to his own material. Tho’ I guess he was aiming to produce a varied album and avoid early pigeon-holing. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with tipping a hat to your heroes when you get a chance.
Anyway, go check him out for yourself. It would be nice to do your bit to resurrect his career from early wobbles and get the guy a new contract. I’ll leave you with the track that brought him to my attention. (The beard reminds me of another great British vocalist btw, namely Joe Cocker; tho’ Cocker’s got an even more gravel’d delivery)…