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Black Country Communion - V review



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13 users:
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Band: Black Country Communion
Album: V
Style: Hard rock, Blues rock
Release date: June 2024


01. Enlighten
02. Stay Free
03. Red Sun
04. Restless
05. Letting Go
06. Skyway
07. You're Not Alone
08. Love And Faith
09. Too Far Gone
10. The Open Road

There's hardly much "super" to go around in most supergroups. It is at best a marketing gimmick to give a handicap to already established musicians that mostly tips the scales of expectations not in their favour. More often than not these bands fail to deliver or endure for long. After many bumps and false starts, BCC are back, as the title suggests, with their fifth album and if it weren't for that one thing I often wonder why I even bother.

I went through an all-things-Bonamassa phase some 10-15 years or so ago. Nice chap, great bluesy, enjoyable guitar sound, charismatic voice. When BCC first rolled around it delivered in abundance on the aspect that Bonamassa's solo material provided in restrained measures, namely, heavier Bonamassa guitars. That it came packaged with Bonham, Sherinian, and Hughes was a bonus. Especially Hughes was a, hm, huge bonus on vocals. But then came the second album, the third, and the mandatory split because of the tensions, and then the reunion, and now more albums...

Thing is, Bonamassa was their rise and he was their fall. It occurs to me that the more commercially savvy and commercially driven he grew the safer his choices and deliveries became. I mean, I get it, and I get him. What he does he does well and passionately. It's just that it's more of the same if you are going to meet the demands of the same expecting audience. I found myself growing out of it and by extension the albums he played on failed to impress me more and more.

So, that one thing I was talking about in the beginning? Yeah, no, it ain't Bonamassa's sweet guitar sound. I mean, it is, but just not this time. Turns out it's Hughes. Ageist or not but at 72 dude sings absolutely spectacularly. It's not like I've not been enjoying his singing on their previous albums. It's that he in particular drags this album out of the swamp of averages for me. It's his singing that I remember and would like to hear again... except that I still don't think I much care for or remember the songs otherwise.

Which makes me swing back to the matter of supergroups once more. We tend to turn to them not because we expect them to deliver a super album but because we know the musicians to be super individually. We expect the result to scratch a certain itch. Or two... or four itches individually. This one scratches the Hughes-itch particularly well. It's a decent album but will otherwise hardly offer any real surprises.





Written on 07.07.2024 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments

Comments: 1   Visited by: 89 users
07.07.2024 - 21:16
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Staff
I've seen Hughes live in the past couple of years both with The Dead Daisies and with his solo band performing Deep Purple songs (my dad loved that one) and his singing is fantastic for his age.
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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