I've been around the block and back....
Released in 2014
After two different but equally excellent albums in 1979's "Nightout" and 1981's "The Spirit of St. Louis", and one subsequent patchy album in 1983, "Another Breath", Ellen Foley, the voice of Meat Loaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" made an unlikely comeback in 2014. Over thirty years later - but she still sounds great. It does, however, sound a bit "retro", which is probably not surprising. I quite like it, which is also not surprising, but I am not sure if it would appeal to anyone other than those like me who had her albums in the late seventies/early eighties.
1. If You Can't Be Good
2. Nobody Ever Died From Crying
3. All Of My Suffering
5. If You Ever Had A Heart
7. Worried Woman
8. Any Fool Can See
9. I've Been Around The Block And Back
10. I Can See
11. Carry On (Party's Over)
12. Everything's Gonna Be Alright
"If You Can't Be Good" has a Searchers/Byrds-style jangly guitar riff, with a hint of Tom Petty about it and Ellen's vocals show she hasn't lost her power in all that time. "Nobody Ever Died From Crying" is an upbeat, riffy number with Ellen once again soaring above the music with her quirky but authoritative voice. "All Of My Suffering" is in a similar vein. "Guilty" is a down-on-my-luck bottleneck slow blues, with Ellen playing the hard done by victim.
"If You Ever Had A Heart" has a bit of early Rolling Stones about it somehow, not especially in the music, just something about the melody. "Madness" is a jazzy, late-night slow burner with echoes of Peggy Lee's "Fever" in both its backing and vocal. "Worried Woman" is a lively rocker that would not be out of place on "Nightout". "Any Fool Can See" is a mid-pace rock ballad with a superb, commanding vocal. On this it is as if Ellen had never been away and it is 1979 again. "I've Been Around The Block And Back" sounds a confessional song from a rock musical.
"I Can See" is an appealing, catchy rocker. "Carry On (Party's Over)" is a chunky, riff-drenched number. Both these songs, while pleasant, are a bit unremarkable, however. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" is a slow ballad to end what has been actually quite a short album on. You know, I was really enjoying the first three tracks but then I have to say it did all sound a little bit similar and a little bit like a dusty relic from days long gone. I can't say I disliked any of this album, but, unfortunately, I know I will probably not play it much in the future. I think that is a shame, but you just tend to know which albums will not get many airings. It was great to hear Ellen again but that is as far as it goes. Like an ex-girlfriend thirty years on...