Album review: TOSELAND – Renegade

Toseland - Renegade

52 Music (release date – out now)

The opening track to this album could well sum up James Toseland’s career to date, a double Superbike world champion and now a blossoming music career, ‘Life Is Beautiful’ right enough. This album was written by James and ex-Little Angels man, Toby Jepson, who also handled the production duties, and is a polished and accomplished affair.

Toseland is more than a one man band though and James has gathered a group of excellent players around him including Zurab Melua, brother of Katie and James’s brother in law, on guitar to keep things in the family.

As I say, the album opens with ‘Life Is Beautiful’ which is all jagged riffs and attitude and sets the stall out well. James’ vocal prowess is never in question, he has a strong voice which can carry off the softer ballads as well as the full on rock numbers.

‘Gotta Be A Better Way’ follows in the same rocking fashion and that is followed by the autobiographical ‘Singer In A Band’ which I think was written with tongue in cheek.  Recent single ‘Crash Landing’ is up next, a short, sharp rock hit with the emphasis firmly on the hit, you can see why this was released as a single.

The pace then slows for ‘Just No Way’ which also showcases Toseland’s keyboard work, yup that’s another  talent the man possesses and he provides all piano and keyboard to the album.  Possibly the best track on the album and one that again features great piano is ‘Kingdoms’ which has a great hook in the chorus and a driving riff to compliment the skilful keyboard work.

Closing the album is another track which was released as a single and again is hit material. ‘Renegade’ is set to become a live classic and a song which will be forever on the set list and deservedly so. This is melodic rock at it’s finest.

As a debut album this is a highly impressive affair. Toby Jepson has done a great job in guiding Mr Toseland through the initial writing and recording process but without the talent of James and the band all his efforts would have come to nothing. They have the skill and attitude to go on to bigger things and judging by the interest so far shown in the band that success should not be far away. Oh, and did I say that James happens to be a really nice guy as well… ****

Review by David Wilson

Interview With James Toseland

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