I have just received the long-awaited new album through by The Electric Stars - 'Velvet Elvis: The Only Lover Left Alive', and straight onto the CD player it goes.
The title track is first up and starts with some very atmospheric music, almost something that you would hear on a film score. It then starts properly and demonstrates a huge depth and quality to this band. From singing, to musicianship, to song-writing to recording and production skills, this is absolutely top drawer. This is original music by a proper band - it feels like they are throwing down the gauntlet to other bands out there to challenge them to compete with The Electric Stars if they can. "I've Got a Soul, I've Got a Voice". The opening track is over 9-minutes long, but certainly doesn't feel like it.
'Electric Stardust' is a fabulous groover which, in a couple of places, brought a Jetset vibe into my head for some reason (which is never a bad thing). 'Sunshine' is very catchy and would make a great A-side. This is followed by 'Pop Star' which is another groover and, again, very catchy. 'Suicide' is more mid-paced and intense, as you would expect from such subject matter, but another good song nonetheless.
'Everything Everyone' has something of the latter day Beatles about it - mid paced, but fab and groovy. 'Precious' (no, not that one) is yet another instant number and then 'The Only Lover Left Alive' takes us even higher - another great song, another potential A-side, it really wigs out and has a real eastern vibe to it. Wonderful.
'Loaded With Regrets' is a slower and more acoustic number, but has great depth and passion to it. At about 4 minutes and 30 seconds it goes electric for the final 45 seconds. 'I Left My Soul Out In The Rain' is another mid-paced number of quality, with Jason singing, "There's a monster in my head, It's gonna haunt me till I'm Dead". And a great 'Velvet Elvis' singalong at the end too.
'We Love You' (no, not that one) comes in with a great guitar riff and tears the place apart. It thunders on to great effect. Love it. It then slows down at the end, adding power to proceedings. The album finished with 'Impossible Odds (Rock n Roll Saved Me)' which starts with a piano backing Jason's voice and builds up from there. Very atmospheric, and very, very good. I've said it before in this review, but I will say it again - the quality shines through.
And with a 16-page booklet designed by Rik Bardsley and Jason, with Rik providing the booklet photographs (with a CD back cover photo by Derek D'Souza from the 100 Club), plus an autographed postcard, this is a beautifully produced package. And with over 62 minutes of music, you certainly get value for money.
Remember, this review is only based on one hearing only and I already think it is superb. How much do you think I will like it after several plays? This really is beautiful music for beautiful people.
Now get out there and get yourself a copy and enjoy!