First solo album in eight years from the Voice of Rock
It is perhaps something of an irony that it took a couple of band albums for the world to wake up – or more accurately perhaps remember – just what a gifted singer Glenn Hughes actually is.
His work in Black Country Communion, over those two phenomenal records, then latterly California Breed, who were superb when opening for Slash a couple of years back, means that the sense of anticipation for “Resonate”, his first solo record in eight years is perhaps higher than it might have been otherwise.
Amongst the reasons given for the implosion of BCC was that Hughes’ a proud West Midlands son, wasn’t prepared to see the people of the area be asked to pay what he considered extortionate ticket prices for a gig at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall (the band had played their first ever gig there and these eyes can attest to the fact it was one of the seminal gigs that venue has ever seen) and in line with that, there is a real sense of Hughes’ going back to his roots here.
Put simply, “Resonate” is a classic album of classic rock.
One of the key reasons for this is the addition of brand new keyboard player Lachy Doley. About halfway through it, a track called “Steady” showcases the melding of organ to guitar and drums in the mould of that rather famous band that Hughes was in MK III of. It is a song worthy of Purple too, the centrepiece of the record, it also sees long time Hughes cohort Soren Anderson – who along with the eponymous star produces this – in fine form.
In fact it is difficult to find any fault whatsoever with the 11 songs that make up “Resonate”. It kicks off with the strident and swaggering “Heavy”, the first single from the album, one which not only features Chad Smith of RHCP on drums, but also reminds everyone that before Myles Kennedy was crowned as the best singer in rock, there was Glenn Hughes. Perfect, widescreen rock n roll for the modern age, he’s got his “foot down in my Chevy” and the wind in his sails.
There’s no letting up from the thumping “My Town”, while “Flow” boasts an arena sized hook and a seething undercurrent and “Let It Shine” does the same again but adds an almost psychedelic melody to wonderful effect.
“Resonate” largely lives in a world of bombast. There is nothing stripped back here, it is an unashamed big rock album. “God Of Money” and “How Long?” which set the world straight in five minutes in six minutes respectively, both have echoes of Led Zeppelin, but this countered by the frankly gorgeous “When I Fall” which is Hughes letting his soulful side loose.
“Landmines” is another left turn, but it wouldn’t be Glenn Hughes if things didn’t get funky at some point, would it? “Stumble And Go” is plaintive and spiritual, but never sentimental. It just isn’t the album for that.
The final cut sees Smith return for “Long Time Gone” which builds to a wonderful peak after the acoustic intro and it provides a fitting conclusion to a record that is better than anyone might have realistically hoped for.
A fitting return to solo work after nearly a decade, “Resonate” truly does just that.