So you’ve not heard the second solo album from The Mission singer-songwriter, Wayne Hussey. What would you expect to hear? The sound of an artist trying to re-create the “glory years” or an album drenched in 80s goth nostalgia?
What about one of the albums of the year, full of moving vocal performances, a real variety of styles, and an album that sound’s nothing like his “day-job” in The Mission?
It’s the latter you will actually hear. I’m not a fan of The Sisters of Mercy or many of the so-called “goth” groups from that era. But goth didn’t pass me totally by without digging it’s talons into my heart and leaving me with the love of some of the bands such as All About Eve and song’s such as The Mission’s Tower of Strength, Severina and the beautiful Butterfly on a Wheel, so I was curious as to what a Hussey solo album in 2014 might sound like.
If you put aside any preconceptions, you might discover that Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is an excellent album. The album opener is a brave choice – Madam G is a lovely, infectious torch-song, with a subtle late-night arrangement, and was co-written with former All About Eve singer-songwriter, Julianne Regan. Don’t take my word for it, have a listen yourself on the Spotify link below.
Nothing Left Between Us is a slowly building song chronicling a decaying relationship.
“Why are we still holding on, to something that’s already gone”
You Are Not Alone has a Laurel Canyon feel, with a touch of Led Zeppelin thrown in for good measure.
The Bouquets & the Bows is the highlight of the album for me, mainly due to the powerful vocal performance. I love the ending of this song, with the acoustic bass intertwining the piano riff as the song drifts away.
Wither on the Vine musically seems to reference The Cure from around the A Forest era, with the drum and guitar sound. A song calling for tolerance, this track is the one that would likely appeal to fans of Hussey’s earlier work.
I’m reminded a little of This Mortal Coil when listening to No Earthly Cure. A fine chorus tops this wonderful song.
The sequencing of the album works really well – ‘Til the End of Time continues the pace of the previous songs, then winds down with an acoustic breakdown as the swampy Devil’s Kind romps in and turns up the tempo.
When I Drift Too Far from Shore is a string-driven, Bowie-esque piece, whilst Next Station references a Bowie song in it’s lyrics (and possibly in the the song title too).
The album closes on the spoken word Aporia, which touches on some of the problems of the current human condition (racism, homophobia) and what’s that I hear, Bauhaus‘s Peter Murphy on backing vocals?
To quote Aporia – “ignorance just ain’t no defence”. I’ve told you how good this album is, have a listen on Spotify and if you like what you hear, support the artist and buy the CD.
Buy Hussey – Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades on Amazon UK
Buy The Mission – The Brightest Light (2 CD) on Amazon UK
Buy The Mission – Anthology – The Phonogram Years (2CD) on Amazon UK