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LUKE MORLEY
EL GRINGO RETRO

Toshiba-EMI TOCP-65673
Produced by: Luke Morley

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Santana, Black Crowes
GENRE: Pop rock
OVERALL: 80%

  1. Go With The Flow
  2. This World
  3. Loving You
  4. Can't Stop The Rain
  5. This Letter
  6. One Drop
  7. Quiet Life
  8. A Face In The Crowd
  9. Road To Paradise
  10. Sacred Cow
  11. Waste Of Time
  12. The First Day
  13. Love Will Find Away
  14. El Gringo Retro

If the true definition of a solo album was for an artist to step completely away from his band, defy all convention and record an album of material totally foreign to anything we have heard before from that band/artist, then Luke Morley has ultimately succeeded in making a solo album.
El Gringo Retro is exactly as the title suggests. It is an album of retro blues pop rock in the best tradition of other retro rockers The Black Crows and Santana.
The album varies it's sound between jangly guitar driven pop rockers like the opening track, Can't Stop The Rain & Quiet Life to the more stripped back mellow Black Crows style soft blues like This World, to more romantic soul pop blues of Loving You and Road To Paradise.
For those looking for a more collaborative effort with Luke's long time buddy and one of my personal favorite artists - Andy Taylor, this is not the album.
There are 2 tracks here from the 4 track EP the due recorded together, but they are re-recorded versions with most of Mr. Taylor's contributions removed or mixed down. This is after all a Luke Morley solo album!
On Can't Stop The Rain and especially with Road To Paradise, Morley does his best Carlos Santana guitar impersonation and instrumental work.
This is potentially a very commercial record.
It's very catchy, very classically contemporary in comparison to many other things currently getting airplay and it has the potential to make in roads for him as a solo name.
But the album is not Thunder in any form and will appeal more to those fans of soft pop rock and the more retro sounds of bands like Santana, Black Crows and the fresh sounds of Latin American rhythm.
This will only get played by myself on certain occasions, where the mood calls for something quiet, something laid back and perhaps for something mellow in the morning.
Morley handles all the vocals himself admirably, with an instrumental ending the record.
BOTTOM LINE: This is a whole world away from Thunder and will not necessarily translate into an essential purchase for all Thunder fans.
It has little to do with anything Thunder have ever done or sounded like.
This is much more a mellower solo excursion by a very talented and diverse guitarist who has chosen to show that he has other sides to his playing ability and far ranging tastes to boot.
PRODUCTION: 86% SONGS: 82% VIBE: 75%ATTITUDE: 78%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of soft rock and the whole Latin music feel, fans of great guitar work and the Morley/Taylor EP.
DISCOGRAPHY:The Spanish Sessions . El Gringo Retro



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