Once A Day

Nick West's reviews for Bucketfull Of Brains and Rock'N'Reel

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Co-editor and publisher of Bucketfull Of Brains since 1996.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Welcome The Arms Of Forever


Australian classic pop has long been influenced by the music of the American south, and there’s a tradition of collaboration between Australian and American popsters. The fruit of this was most recently manifested in The Orange Humble Band’s sublime Humblin’ (Across America).

It finds a fine companion in Welcome The Arms Of Forever. This second release from Coronet Blue, essentially a vehicle for the songs of John Rooney, is recorded in the belly of the beast, with Mitch Easter at the Fidelitorium in North Carolina. The sometime REM producer, Let’s Active main man, and all –round pop maestro co-produces and plays guitar. Don Dixon arranges and adds bass, and the band is rounded out by Ian McLagan and Simon Kirke.

So we’re talking supergroup here, and what they deliver is varieties of pure pop leavened with rock’n’roll and surrounded by shimmering strings. Elements of twang, an E Street Band tendency, blues, and R&B all hover, but the abiding impression is of dramatic and lush creations such as the emotionally-charged title track, along with some splendid vignette performances such as Jim Hoke’s harmonica and Georgina Johnston’s vocals on ‘Looks Like Love’.


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