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Rob Reynolds - The Curious World

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 24 / 9 / 2006



Rob Reynolds - The Curious World
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Excellent overview of first three albums from Porstmouth-born singer-songwriter Rob Reynolds, who pulls together all the best elements of the white soul boys from the past inlcuding Steve Winwood, Chris Farlowe, Joe Cocker and even Rod Stewart


Subtitled ‘ An Introduction To’ this is indeed the ideal way to catch up on the music Portsmouth-born Rob Reynolds has been making over three albums. It’s not a ‘best of’ really, more an overview of how far Reynolds has come since the release of 1997’s ‘Waiting For The Tide’ by taking in 2000’s mini album ‘Samsara Never Sleeps’ and bringing us up to date with ‘Sightseeing’ from 2003. That a few hard to get B-sides are also included is an added bonus. Moving to Harrogate, Yorkshire at an early age Reynolds moved again to London after the death of his father in the mid -90's. He was in a succession of bands until he recorded his first solo album, ‘Waiting For The Tide’ which included a brilliant version of the old jazz standard ‘Stormy Weather’ which for many is the definitive version. It has to be said that of all the many versions of the song Reynolds does take it somewhere else. It’s a perfect showcase for his soulful vocals; Reynolds has a voice that, if he is still unknown to you, will surprise you. Forget all the current crop of male singer-songwriters that clog up the airwaves these days ! Reynolds is the real deal. One minute Reynolds is a soul singer, the next he is belting out the blues like he was born to do it, the next the image of John Martyn floats into your head (listen to ‘One Armed Bandit’ from that first album). Forget the shouts of "the new Joe Cocker" which are aimed at some who are getting a lot of attention and airplay just now. None of the young pretenders or, to be honest, even a young Joe, come close to the talent Reynolds has to offer. In fairness Reynolds has also had his fair share of radio plays. Spending 10 weeks on the Irish Radio One playlist last year was just one indication that Reynolds is at least now beginning to get the attention he deserves. With the release of this collection Reynolds should get that extra push he needs to get him across to a wider audience. The real beauty of Reynolds lies in the fact that, apart from that one cover version and let’s face it that’s Reynolds now, he writes all his own music and then produces it. He really is an exceptionable talent. For all its passion and beauty ‘Stormy Weather’, despite being picked for the second time as a single, is far from the best song on this collection; it’s not even the best song from that first album it has been plucked from. That accolade goes to ‘Sweet Mother’, which has appeared on two of Reynolds albums already, or even to ‘Take It Easy’ both of which thankfully are on this collection. Simply put, Reynolds is in a group of one when it comes to home grown talent. It’s almost embarrassing just how good his songs are: not content with vocals which pull together all the best from the white soul boys from the past, Steves Winwood and Marriott, Chris Farlowe, Joe Cocker and even Rod Stewart, Reynolds has the bonus of writing songs that only maybe Winwood from that group of singers could equal and it’s debateable if even now a best of from the ex-Spencer Davis man would be as entertaining as this collection. One can’t help but think that this is the voice a certain Paul Weller has been aiming for these last few years. If Reynolds is a new name to you then this collection is obviously the best place to start but be prepared to be smitten if well produced, well sung songs are your thing. You’ll be buying up his back catalogue in no time at all!



Track Listing:-
1 Take It Easy
2 Sweet Mother (Radio Edit)
3 Stormy Weather
4 Dream Song
5 One Armed Bandit
6 Why
7 Heaven Knows (Single Version)
8 Lonely Man
9 Love Jam
10 Waterfalls
11 Secrets And Lies
12 Change My World
13 Changes
14 Don't You Ever Dream



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