a l b u m r e v i e w s

Produced by: Derek St. Holmes
  1. Dr. Love
  2. Just An Illusion
  3. In Too Deep
  4. Sunsets
  5. Standing In The Rain
  6. Sometimes
  7. My Turn To Cry
  8. The Wind
  9. Surrounded
  10. Sheila
I wasn't quite sure what to expect here, but upon listening to the album, it is anything but any beliefs I had just held.
I kinda expected a big crotch rock attack a la Ted Nugent prime early to mid 80's, when Derek St Holmes lead the guitarist's band.
But what you get is a thoroughly well defined selection of well written mid paced blues rockers and tender melodic ballads that show Derek has class way beyond what I had previously heard.
This album is highly recommended to those who search high and low for classic pop rock albums. It is on the mellower side, which may surprise and indeed turn off a few fans, but anyone with an open mind or a pre-disposition to this kind of Paul Rogers, Mike Tramp or old style Bryan Adams rock will hopefully love it as much as I do.
The album opens with Dr. Love, a blues drenched guitar song. There is little pace change between the verse and chorus, with only the addition of an organ and harmonica breaking the spell that the song leaves you in. An ultra smooth mid tempo rocker in a stripped back raw live feel.
Just An Illusion was the first surprise of the album. This is a first class uptempo pop ballad that hints at turning into a full stadium anthem, but manages to stay true to itself. Some great power vocals too. Bryan Adams would wish he wrote this!
In Too Deep is a tongue in cheek uptempo blues rock song that is a little heavier than most of the rest of the album, yet stays within the feel of the whole album. Not bad.
Sunsets is the album's first proper ballad. An acoustic guitar accompanies some great vocals. There is also some steel guitar involved and could be turned 100% country without much trouble.
Standing In The Rain is a mid tempo blues rock song. It starts slow and builds towards the middle and end. Another good song.
Sometimes is one of my favourites along with Just An Illusion. Curious guitar sound and a chorus that breaks out of the rest of the song. A mid to uptempo song that is neither pop nor hard rock.
My Turn To Cry sees Derek accompanied by an acoustic guitar again in ballad that could also be turned country with little trouble. An earthy organ sound also adds feel to the track. A midwest feel not unfamiliar with the latest Richie Sambora solo album.
The Wind is another uptempo pop rocker in the Mike Tramp solo vein. A feel good track.
Surrounded is a soft, laid back and stripped back midwest rock song.
Sheila ends the album with a big slow blues number of heartache and pain. Some great blues guitar and wonderful vocals.
So not outstaying it's welcome like too many album's do these days, in 10 simple tracks, Then & Now is over.
Blues rock fans should check this out. Others that aren't afraid of a little experimentation and softer simple pop rock songs should also investigate.
A different and untypical release, by a talented guitarist, songwriter and singer.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Stripped back and bluesy pop rock fans. Ted Nugent fans.

b a c k t o i n d e x