Fireworks

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James Stevenson - 'Everything's Getting Closer To Being Over' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ce/fe/78/james-stevenson-everythings-getting-closer-to-being-over-52-1399574391.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 08, 2014    
 
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I can't fault the playing or the production, but as I find Stevenson's voice hard work.

James Stevenson has been playing since the 70s – earning a living professionally in punk band Chelsea while he was still at school. He performed with Billy Idol in Gen X as well as playing guitar for Kim Wilde on 'Kids In America'. A few years later he was seen playing rhythm guitar for The Cult and he has enjoyed a great working relationship with The Alarm's Mike Peters.

With this solo album, James steps forward as vocalist as well as guitarist. 'Suzi's Problem' demonstrates his obvious skill as a player and a writer, but as a vocalist he's somewhat more limited. He carries the tune, but manages the bare minimum vocally for my tastes – it's a very monotonous delivery.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Go Mister!' is much brighter thanks in no small part to the female backing vocals by Maggi Ronson (sister of Mick), Elizabeth Westwood and Tracie Hunter (daughter of Ian). The ladies add a much needed boost to the chorus and help James out vocally to great effect. His best vocal comes on the chugging 'Twilight Riders' which suits him well and once again features the female backing. Song wise there are many bright points, as well as a few experiments – there's an electronic loop in 'Give It Up' which evolves into a cool funky number. The album rocks hardest on 'Naturally Wired', but the overlying theme is one of decent songs, mediocre vocals.

I can't fault the playing or the production, but as I find Stevenson's voice hard work, it's not an album I'm going to return to.

James Gaden

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