Malaya Blue Will Never Leave You Heartsick
Two of the tracks were released as a double-sided single last summer, Hope & Let’s Reinvent. They have survived and are included in the album, the band though that supports Malaya Blue’s distinctive voice has been all change. The band with stunning production from Paul Long, capturing the tone that suits Malaya as her career progresses. The walk towards soulful jazz with the shading of blues continues apace. The band for the album recorded in The Grange Studio Norfolk are Dudley Ross, with the guitar playing that makes every lead break zing with anticipation, and alongside Dudley is keyboard player Paul Jobson and the synergy between them is natural. Added to this is a rhythm section that keeps the beat on an eye of the smallest needle, Stuart Uren bassist and drumming Andrew McGuiness. The reality is this is all window dressing for the heart of the album, Malaya Blue’s vocals which are drenched in soulful anguish as the album explores loves sharpest facets. The harp playing like a mirror bright and clear reflects the vocals from the lips of Paul Jones on Hunny Little Daydream & Let’s Reinvent (Love). Another guest is Carl Hudson whose piano playing enlivens the track To Remain The Same.
Opening with Heartsick the beat is driving with an uplift the opposite to what you expect. Malaya’s voice though is definitely Heartsick as she explores a disastrous relationship ignoring what Mama said to her peril! With Dudley and Paul opening with a guitar and keys exploring the chords, the drum picks up the beat and Malaya’s voice clear as bell curls her tongue around Colour Blind. Her voice is polished with a sheen that reflects the bands melodic line. Half way through the eleven track album is an upbeat statement I Have Arrived, full of confidence with a mix of sounds to underline who Malaya now is with a second studio album under her musical belt. Now for contrast a rhythmic opening with Dudley’s guitar blasting the way through for a gentler wistful Malaya. This is a Strand of Gold that is full of country soul the instrumentation shapes the mood. Bringing the album to a close is Hope the single we have all got to know and then the finale. This is drenched in slow emotion as the soul comes back and is it the cure for Heartsick the opening track?
The album crosses genres and has a mainstream feel. Perfectly formed for radio airplay and getting Malaya Blue the attention she is demanding on this crafted album. For me, the album and instrumentation is just that bit too crisp. Like a starched shirt, it lacks at times a natural flow to the singing. I want Malaya to loosen up relax and show a rougher, dirtier side of love some sweet sugar bowl blues would have given the album a deeper range. That said, it is an album with sex-appeal from guitar licks through to the carefully modulated shaping of lyrics and the clarity of Malaya Blue as she shares her feeling of being Heartsick.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
2. Hunny Little day Dream
3. Colour Blind
4. Let’s reinvent (Love)
5. To remain The Same
6. I Have Arrived
7. Strand of Gold
8. Share Of Love
10. Soul Come Back