1. By Heart
2. Song For Winners
3. I Feel An Urge Coming On
5. Black Glass
6. Wreck The Rod
7. Which Was Writ
8. Man Leaves Town
9. Thought & Act
10. El Viv
11. Wherever She Goes (She Is Wanted)
Nick Waterhouse has released three previous albums, 'Time All Gone' (2012), 'Holly' (2014) and 'Never Twice' (2016). If you like classic R ‘n’ B, from the likes of Van Morrison’s Them, then you could do a lot worse than trying the new album out, as well as Nick’s back catalogue. This 11-song collection, features ten new Waterhouse originals, plus a deep cover of 'I Feel An Urge Coming On', originally written by Nick’s friend and mentor Joshie Jo Armstead, who has previously written with Ray Charles and performed as both a Raelette and an Ikette in the 1960s and 70s.
The album opens with 'By Heart', which starts with a simple bassline and rhythm tapped out on the symbol. It is a warm slice of jazzy soul of years gone by. This is an easy lead in to the album. Nick's vocal is silky smooth and the backing singers raise the song. It has everything you would want, keys, twangy guitar, horns and even a short drum solo. 'Song For Winners' follows with a great twang guitar riff intro followed by the percussion. The vocal is grittier and reminded me of Van Morrison's early work with Them as the enunciation is very Van the Man. It is laden with catchy hooks and great sax. No wonder this was the first single from the album. The only cover on the album is 'I Feel An Urge Coming On', however it is not misplaced and sounds like it was written for it. The backing singing is soulful, and the bouncy rhythm makes this a real foot tapper. 'Undedicated' follows on nicely and Nick shows his crooner side with it. The tempo picks up with 'Black Glass' and we are back to very authentic Rhythm and Blues. The brass is centre stage with horns and sax. This is the funkiest tracks on the album.
At the midway spot of the album we have the second single 'Wreck The Rod'. If you haven't seen the video for this then check it out. It shows that Nick does not take himself too seriously. With the backing singers crying out 'Love' Nick then gives a soulful swing delivery on what is an upbeat and good feel track. It is laced with a lot of 60's techniques, and is worth it for the sax alone. The light is contrasted with some shade on 'Which Was Writ' which starts with a scratchy guitar and a heavy bassline. It is a far more stripped down track than the one it follows and Nick's vocal is at the centre of this song. 'Man Leaves Town' initially continues the stripped down feel with nicks vocal and a twangy guitar riff. Then the rest of the band join in. There is even an almost electro keyboard riff going through the song,. The gritty vocal delivery drives the whole number. Again by contrast to the grit, Nicks vocal is silky smooth again on the slow 'Thought & Act'. This is an hypnotic warm track that you just want to envelope you. Just as you are sailing away into a cosy warm place. a perfect song for a Sunday night .The bosa nova tempo of 'El Viv' wakes you up with a jolt. It is a real good feel track, where the band get to let loose. It is the only instrumental and everyone shows what they can do on it. You cannot help but smile listening to it. 'Wherever She Goes (She Is Wanted)' closes the album. As you would expect this is a feel good track, which ends the album on a warm and fuzzy high. The keyboards are really good throughout this song.
It is fair to say that the album is not challenging and does not deal with gritty themes but sometimes you just want to listen to something a little lighter. Nick Waterhouse's self titled forth album harks back to bygone days, where the vocal and instrumentation were king. It is a slice of authentic Rhythm and Blues, with a little Jazz and a whole lot of soul thrown in. Nick has worked with major names in the business and they must have taken to him, because he is the real deal. This is a refreshing album and is well worth checking out.
Nick Wtaerhouse's self titled forth album is out March 8th via Innovative Leisure.
Website - www.nickwaterhouse.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nickwaterhousemusic/
Review - Tony Creek