C4S5CD5 Before the dawn of the digital world buying albums had an element of risk involved when it came to new artists. You would hear the first single and in most cases other than magazine review, and maybe the odd radio show playing a random album track you were buying blind.
Although I was aware of Bernard Butlers work in Suede I had never been a fan, and I had no idea who the chameleon like creature going by the name of David McAlmontwas or had done prior to this record, but I knew the first single from the album Yes was utterly incredible. It started like a jet plane taking off and then soars like Diana Ross and The Supremes on the wildest speed trip ever. Butler rings every ounce of sound that he could from his guitar, whilst McAlmont tries to out sing Butler by finding notes from his voice that hadn’t been charted yet! Sadly it was all downhill from here the album peaks with the first track and never really recovers. The voice and the guitar are still there but the song writing doesn’t match that of Yes. You have to wait until track ten and You’ll Lose A Good Thing which finds McAlmont accompanied by nothing but a Hammond organ lamenting the breakup of a relationship, it’s simple, emotional, and classy. The last track You Do nearly rescues the album but 3 tracks don’t make an album and overall it’s a disappointment.
McAlmont and Butler would split before getting back together for one more album Bring It Back, before Butler went onto be a top producer and songwriter for the likes of Duffy. McAlmont would continue to release solo music that receive critical acclaim without ever obtaining the level of mainstream success McAlmont and Butler received.
Although in the world of Spotify, iTunes, Last.fm etc it’s easier to ‘try before you buy’ with regard to music but I still like to buy CD’s ‘blind’ sometimes every now and again you might get a duff one but the anticipation of listening to a CD for the first time and not know what you are going to get is an experience still worth hanging on to.