REVIEW: Brian May & Kerry Ellis – Golden Days
Queen’s Brian May and musical theatre stalwart Kerry Ellis have forged a strong, if unexpected, musical partnership over the past few years.
In their newest collaboration the pair have delved into their live back catalogue, deliver their own versions of some well-known classics, as well as penning a series of original songs. The result is an eclectic mix of styles and genres, doubtless to appeal to their diverse fan base.
Track by Track:
Love In A Rainbow (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)
Billed as “retro-psychedelic”, it’s a gentle poppy ballad and low-key start to the album.
Roll With You (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)
Written to illustrate Ellis’ favourite sayings, attitudes and philosophies on life. Despite the classic rock guitar riff, it’s more a cheerful middle of the road high energy pop tune.
Golden Days (Brian May)
A lushly produced power ballad.
It’s Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song) (Brian May)
Very much in the same vein as the other recently-penned songs on the album, this is another middle of the road pop-rock number.
Amazing Grace (John Newton, Trad. Arr, Brian May)
Accompanied by May on acoustic guitar, this is a simple, but beautiful rendition of the traditional hymn.
One Voice (Ruth Moody)
This choir favourite has been given a fresh vocal arrangement.
If I Loved You (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
One of the musical Carousel’s most-loved songs, Ellis delivers an ear-pleasing version, gentle and less strident than the musical theatre original.
Born Free (John Barry, Don Black)
Billed as a “rock re-arrangement” of the classic movie theme this is very richly produced, and includes a guitar solo with May sounding his most Queen-like.
Parisienne Walkways (Phil Lynott, Gary Moore)
Gary Moore’s signature guitar song is given a female vocal, but it is May’s superlative guitar skills that shine through.
I Who Have Nothing (Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber, Mike
One of the world’s most covered songs. This is an odd, synth heavy, 80s-sounding Bond theme-imitating version with dated sound and production.
The Kissing Me Song (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)
Another 80s style pop-rock number.
Story Of A Heart (Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson)
Written by Abba’s world-famous song writing duo and originally the title track on The Benny Andersson Band’s compilation album, this sounds like late-era Abba after their glory days were over.
Can’t Help Falling In Love (Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George
A nicely judged version of the much-loved and much-covered song.
The album is a pleasant offering that isn’t going to break any new ground or win a legion of new fans. Stylistically and in its production style it sounds of another era, somewhat over-produced and the song choices, considering the talent of the two individuals involved is ultimately uninspiring, but the diverse selection will undoubtedly keep the duo’s fan base happy.
Released on Sony Music the album is available to purchase/download now.