When Cannock, Staffordshire, England-born bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes was recruited to 'replace' Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover prior to the recording of Burn (1974), the end results were nothing short of extraordinary. Although the union would ultimately prove to be short-lived (culminating with the release of the Funk-infused Come Taste The Band), it would serve as an ideal catalyst for the launch of ex-Trapeze frontman's solo career. Achieving international acclaim with the release of his full-length debut Play Me Out (1977), the woefully-underrated Hughes/Thrall (1982) project and the atypical Black Sabbath gem Seventh Star (1986), he solidified his reputation as a bona fide creative and commercial force not to be ignored. Now, forty-two years later, with Resonate, the latest--and quite possibly greatest--chapter in his long and often storied métier having at last been unleashed, the ever-versatile Hughes again finds himself on the cusp of a well-deserved renaissance.
On the brilliant Resonate (2016), an expertly assembled eleven song collection of multi-dimensional Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, each track, beginning with the relentlessly pummeling 'modus operandi' “Heavy” and the maddeningly infectious tirade “My Town”, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of even the most jaded and unimaginative of listeners, myself most definitely included. Wisely attempting to re-capture the smoldering intensities of Music For The Divine (2006) and First Underground Nuclear Kitchen (2008) after primarily focusing the bulk of his creative energies on the Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater)/Jason Bonham (Bonham, Jimmy Page, Motherland) Super Groups Black Country Communion and California Breed, Hughes again delivers the goods. Not surprisingly, the initial auditory excursions find themselves existing within the headspaces of his most exalted solo moments, leaving them as instantly palpable as they are lastingly satisfying.
Continuing with the emotionally-wrenching, saxophone and acoustic guitar-fueled ballad “Let It Shine” and the self-explanatory, Hammond B-3-laden tome “God Of Money”, the inexplicably-underrated combination of vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes, guitarist Søren Andersen, Australian-born keyboardist/clavinetist Lachy Doley (The Beautiful Girls, Joe Bonamassa, Powderfinder) and drummers Pontus Enborg and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) steamrolls with a truly sickening ease. Driving home each key focal point via a now-trademark barrage of gritty vocals, searing fretwork and imaginatively punishing rhythms, the group wastes little--if any--time reminding us all of their quasi-virtuosic tendencies without overwhelming the average listener amid the weight of their own talents. The ensuing lyrical musical amalgams, while arguably still existing far outside the realm of his work with Deep Purple and in many regards, Trapeze, is worthy of the highest of critical accolades.
Co-Produced by Hughes and Andersen (Artillery, Dave Mustaine, Mike Tramp) at Copenhagen, Denmark-based Medley Studios and London, England-based Command Studios, other standouts, including the lilting--and unnervingly introspective--lamentation “When I Fall” and the delightfully rollicking “Stumble And Go” are punctuated by the frontman's ability to seamlessly intertwine elements of Funk, Jazz and Soul within an already notoriously elastic overall tonalities. Fortified throughout by the bonus track “Nothing's The Same”, videos for “Heavy” and “Long Time Gone” and a making of documentary, Hughes effortlessly proves himself capable of exponential growth even he rapidly approaches his seventieth (!) year of existence. Seemingly emboldened by the ability to 'never make the same album twice' (i.e. Trapeze vs. L.A. Blues Authority Volume II: Glenn Hughes – Blues), the end result of his more-than-considerable accomplishments are again nothing short of extraordinary.
But why should you care? Because, believe it or not, it really is that good. Encapsulating his now-trademark flare for awe-inspiring dynamics, the majority--if not all--of the decidedly hook-laden, instantly memorable wares contained herein are destined to become instant Hughes classics. Even if you still somehow find yourself less than enthralled with the sprawling--and occasionally disjointed--nature of his undeniably groundbreaking genealogies (the previously-mentioned Seventh Star and the Hughes-Turner Project releases remain as points of contention for many would-be 'purists'), the truly mighty Resonate remains an absolute must-have for both die-hard completists and clueless newcomers alike. Needless to say, if you've once again found yourself in search of a maddeningly infectious reprieve from the puréed, Hip-Hop and Pop-driven banalities that are so often the proverbial mainstream, then this, my friends, might just be the high-octane cerate for whatever it is that ails you.
Select Solo Discography
First Underground Nuclear Kitchen (2008)
Music For The Divine (2006)
Soul Mover (2005)
Songs In The Key Of Rock (2003)
Building The Machine (2001)
Return Of Crystal Karma (2000)
The Way It Is (1999)
From Now On... (1994)
L.A. Blues Authority Volume II: Glenn Hughes – Blues (1992)
Play Me Out (1977)
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