JOE MOLLAND – This Way Up
Parasol 2001 / Gonzo 2014
JOE MOLLAND -
This Way Up
Former BADFINGER looks at the bright side of life.
Why there’s no “y” in this artist’s name on the cover of his third solo album remains a mystery; perhaps, it was an attempt to show his personal growth. But, given a 9-year cycle of Joey Molland’s records – and it would take him even longer to deliver a follow-up to “This Way Up” – BADFINGER fans don’t care about the spelling: it’s music that matters. And although the 13 songs here follow the classic pop-rock tradition their writer’s a master of, they somehow don’t cut it.
Building on three demos from 1995, Molland gets things going with the piano-propelled “Mirrors” and signs off with the ballad of “Isn’t That A Dream,” running mostly in an upbeat tempo in between. But while “2 Minute Warning” kicks up the boogie roll, “What Else (Nothing)” taps into triteness over more than 5 minutes to be saved only by its cosmic ring. Still, “Moonlight” comes in a romantic orchestral coating, which spills into the dewy-eyed drama of “When I Was A Boy,” and the twangy vibrancy of “The Bust” is deliciously anthemic. Enough for the optimistic message of the album’s title, if not enough for a total uplift.
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