NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - DEL AMITRI "WAKING HOURS"

THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)

DEL AMITRI 


"WAKING HOURS"


After the 80s "almost every song a gem in the charts" phase pretty much ended after 1986.  When Stock Aitken & Waterman took over and Acid House and other weird sounds arrived I was looking desperately for new bands to follow.  Scottish Rock band Del Amitri were among a handful of those special bands (including Texas and Deacon Blue) that had something new to offer.  Although this album was released in 1989 I didn't pick up on the band until the song "Nothing Ever Happens" in early 1990.  Justun Currie, the lead singer had this great gravelly Rock voice and the band played amazingly tuneful songs with beautiful melodies and emotive lyrics.  I picked up every album the band made and even though the debut was far different I played this band a lot during barren creativity times in the early 90s.

"Waking Hours" reached Number 6 in the UK charts, which is amazing with some of the dross that was around at the time.  Anyway, the album spawned 4 singles with none reaching the Top 10.  "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" eventually scraped to 43 when released as the first single.  I only heard this once I had bought the album and instantly loved it.  It has a real live sound like every Del Amitri song, that pure sound where you can hear every instrument and vocal clear.  It was very like a Scottish folk song.  "Stone Cold Sober" only reached number 90 and was a slower tempo ballad.  It reminded me a lot of The Police and The Cars, half British, half American 80s Pop Rock.  "Nothing Ever Happens" was the third single released at the end of 1989 and proved to be the band's biggest hit.  A look at the world in a beautifully simple composition and a chorus that everyone easily remembers.  Classic Pop Rock, love it.  The fourth single "Move Away Jimmy Blue" was a gorgeous ballad in the style of the previous single, minimal backing once again for Justin's emotive vocals.  This track reached 36 and was supposed to cling on to the previous single's success.  The band were a breath of fresh air to me in the dark derelict 90s that were to come. 


"Opposite View" is a kind of Genesis/The Cars hybrid.  Uptempo and twangy guitar solos and crashing drums abound, this track proved that the band could Rock a little if they felt the need.

"You're Gone" is a dark and mysterious track, based around guitar and drums, a slight Country Rock feel and again hard hitting lyrics from Justin.  Perfect production to get that little bit of eerie Celtic darkness in the track.

"When I Want You" is a mid tempo almost quirky track.  It has sad elements and then a happy, positive chorus.  Yet another superbly crafted track by the band.  

"This Side Of The Morning" is like a sea shanty.  Vocals take the lead and you could imagine hardened sailors singing this little song while waiting to sail in an old bar.  

"Empty" is the most Rock song on the album, almost Progressive with more extra Psychedelic sounds in the background.  Some searing guitars and the fast, slow atmospheric elements give it an early 70s vibe.

"Hatful Of Rain" ends the album and pretty much sums up the whole album.  It is no surprise the Greatest Hits package in 1998 was titled the same.  It has the gorgeous melodies, the heartfelt lyrics, simple chorus, minimal backing and great production.  A great album full of hits in my book!


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