STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 4830-821 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
December Blue's debut album is packed with passionate, rootsy rock 'n' roll performances in the same ballpark as Del Amitri that demand a place on your stereo. A mixture of acoustic and electric stylings, sometimes this is power pop, sometimes this is something moodier. Dealing with a range of topics, 'Remember This' explores issues without thrusting solutions at the listener. Based in Belfast the backdrop of the Troubles is evident but there's an overwhelming sense of optimism here. Musically, the boys in the band are lighter than a festival budget and create the perfect foil for the expansive yowl of Sharon McFeeters whose vocal range from exuberant banshee to soulful splendour calls to mind Maria McKee, particularly on a tune like "Living Under Giants" which is moody and magnificent. Picking favourites is difficult but the title tune and "She Don't Mind" are an asset. "First" is a bit of blues featuring some nice understated piano and guitar from Alistair Hamill and Martin Clarke. "Not Like You" is a romping closer (if you don't count the acoustic hidden track) with one of those catchy choruses that won't leave your head until you take the only course of action I can recommend - listen again from the top! This is splendid stuff and I confess to being totally enthralled by the album and Sharon's wonderful voice. Can't wait to check them out at the Cross Rhythms festival.
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