When I received this album I had mixed feelings. I had heard that Kevin Paton runs an African drum class and also a sound healing therapy group. After listening to the album ‘LIFE’, Mojo Storm’s first outing, I still had mixed feelings. The strong percussion is not so evident but neither is the album a soundtrack for a meditation class. It has a bit of both and a lot of other things as well.
The first track ‘Soweto’s Blues’ does start of with some percussion but also some lovely guitar work I have heard it called West African style. I like the lyrics and the growled line ‘Apartheid has had its day’ and on this track we first hear sax/flautist Phil Hargreaves. The second track ‘Hearing Angels’ starts off with the guitar of Kevin Paton and Phil playing flute and we have some nice backing singing too. Kevin himself adds his thanks to all the singers on the album sleeve note, there are a good number of them, Helen Monks and Julie Sutton, High Step and This Wave then Lindd Priddie and Yvonne Sharples on ‘Soweto’s Blues’ and ‘See Me Dance’. ‘Freedom’ is the third track which features an electric guitar instead of the acoustic and some more sax.
The fourth track starts off again with a lively percussion and a nice light lyrical line. ‘High Step (to the mountain)’ the seventh track and the eighth feature the sax more in the main part of the body of the track as opposed to a lot of the proceeding tracks where it will appear mostly at the end of the track in a long instrumental segment. If I was to voice any misgivings it would be those instrumental endings to the tracks they were not that long but felt over extended to me.
The last track ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ makes a liar out of me as the instrumental part is at the front of this track and the vocals come in about two minutes into the track.
I still have mixed feelings about the album – the playing is very good as is the singing. The song styles are not always to my taste but I have different tastes to lots of people. But I do list ‘Hearing Angels’ as my favourite track and will be adding it to my mp3 player.
I would like to see Mojo Storm live as I think you lose something here on the album.
[Mojo Storm will be supporting TJ & Murphy at Liverpool Acoustic Live on Friday 22nd August 2014. Ed]
The album ‘Life’ is available to buy from mojostorm.co.uk and from ‘News From Nowhere’ on Bold Street.