It's the first
time I'm reviewing Bob Evans and also the first CD I ever listened to
songs by him, so I can't compare them with older material. However,
the 12 songs here included probably come from a long songwriting period
and I must presume this is Bob Evans' debut, owing to the utilization
of a drum machine. He plays all the remaining instruments and also sings,
but as you can see from the CD front cover, he's mostly a guitarist,
dealing with melodic pop-rock and suchlike styles.
The British songster feels sure about the goodness of all his songs,
so that he ain't afraid of playing one of the few cards in his sleeve,
that is the title track, one of the most rock songs of the batch, with
a real good solo, where he displays his warm and elegant voice along
with memorable refrains. Completely different shores are the ones approached
in "You're Just Not There", in which Hawaiian guitars
with a slide rock us gently letting our minds wave thoughtlessly like
every ballad does.
The atmospheres are strongly Beat(lesian) in "Is There Anyone
out There?" , while "I See Love" is another
ballad with a central keyboards solo.
The curiously titled "Nimrod 'The Hunter' " is an instrumental
that will make you feel like driving across the East coast. Excellent
and stunning for an Englishman to sound so bloody Yankee!
From the tender and relaxing "Love Is Where You Find iI",
through the dynamic and pleasantly lively "You Really Love Me",
we get to "On a Knife Edge", between the best Santana
in the first part and Chris Isaak in the second one.
I deadly appreciated the hopping pop of "We Live the Life of
Others", gifted with likeable vocal hooks, whereas the melancholic
"Journey Back Home" seemed to me a bit boring.
"Love Love Love" is a pretty example of the way to
compose an effective song with easy vocals and guitar lines, but the
top of the CD is in my opinion "Goodnight Blues", a
blues-rock potential hit full of feeling.
Mr. Evans proved to be a versatile artist, yet I guess the drum machine
isn't suitable for a sanguine style like his. I can only wish him to
find a band and re-record these songs, then the result really would
be top-notch! Meanwhile, you can already enjoy these songs without paying
too much attention to the false sounds of the programming. All those
who love easy-going US-flavoured songs which are connected to the past,
even the 60's, and want to hear light, traditional inspired guitars,
can come forward and directly order the CD without dread to mistake
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 4/6/04
Rob Evans, 3 Niven Close, Maidenbower, Crawley, Sussex, RH107ZH - UK