[Release date 03.10.16]
This is a highly likeable album from a long-time sideman with Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen’s sax player. I half expected some reflected, fist-pumping material in the All-American way. But no, Billy Livesay follows his own path and, in doing so, shaping a set of very listenable tunes.
As he says, the album is all about a sense of growing up and increasing responsibility. This manifests itself with well-crafted, mature songs like ‘I’m Coming Home’ (its chiming figures a distant cousin of John Waite’s ‘Missing You’) and the grittier ‘Angels Of The New Millennium’.
It comes as no surprise that Livesay has placed songs on MTV and in film and TV as he has a strong ear for melody and the elevating chorus hook demonstrated here on songs like ‘Pop Star’, ‘No Promises’ and ‘I’d Change Everything’. And, when necessary, the band can rock out as on ‘I’ve Heard The Truth Before’. If you like American AOR tunesmiths like Tom Petty and Bob Seger you’ll like ‘Hold On…Life Is Calling’.
With a crack band including Eddie Zyne whose toured with everyone from Hall and Oates via Todd Rundgren to The Monkees and Victor Berrios who supplies sublime Hammond B3, this is an album that radiates quality throughout and with songwriting values that shine like a beacon. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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