David St. Romain – Glory
Purchase Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/glory/id1048825394
Where this album works, it’s because of a great blues and soul vibe. The thing is, there is nothing all the creative or original going on here. It is hard to stand tall when the music doesn’t really separate the album from the crowd. The fact that it works as well as it does is a tribute to the quality of the performances.
The retro tinged bluesy groove on the opening track (“If You Want It”) is incredible. It makes me think of Buddy Guy in a lot of ways. To me “Even the Bad Times Are Good” sounds a lot like Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay.” It is okay, but a bit too derivative and not all that special for me.
The retro elements are mostly gone on the appropriately titled “It’s Gone.” The tune has a lot oomph, but seems to lack some of the class of the opener. Still, I like it better than the last song. It’s just a bit too modern and not all that special to me. There is almost a jazz feeling to “Subtleties of Rain.” It’s kind of like a pop music power ballad. I dig the sax solo. The closing jam is really powerful, too.
Although there is still some vintage soul in the mix, the title track is a bit too generic for me. Still, it has its selling points. With a soulful blues vibe, “Hold On” is a slow cut that has a real retro texture. It’s not bad, but not a favorite for me. “A Lot of Room” just doesn’t do a lot for me. Sure, it has a classic arrangement, but it just seems to lack any real magic.
The jazz elements work well on “Every Little Thing.” It is another that is built on a classic retro sound. It’s one of the more successful pieces, too. Too much of a generic blues jazz groove, “Trouble” doesn’t work all that well for me. Another that’s just too generic for me, I’m not a big fan of “She Can’t Remember,” either.
Funk comes in to save the day on “Glad That I Am the One.” This funky rocker is one of the best tracks of the disc. It’s just so much fun. “I’m Not Just Anybody’s Food” is more of a blues ballad. It’s a strong song, too. It’s one of my favorites and a great way to end it.
Review by Gary Hill