Review: Jack Foley
SONGWRITING supremo, Drew Kennett, is something of an unknown
quantity, in musical terms.
Hailing from The Isle of Wight, and boasting an album that's
'all about loving '60s music, but sounding modern', this hugely
talented artist is in danger of being criminally overlooked.
A lack of exposure on mainstream radio stations hasn't helped,
but if you look deep enough, the rave reviews are in abundance
- and it's easy to see why.
Songs From The Devil's Chimney, while sounding as though
it could easily contain the type of sound that Metallica might
be proud of, is actually a musical gem that's just waiting to
Boasting influences ranging from Bob Dylan and Neil Young through
to Crowded House and early B-side style Oasis, Drew's debut is
an accomplished and hugely enjoyable effort, that impresses from
the first moment you hear it.
Tracks such as the album opener, Dig Deeper, or Ok
To Cry, are indicative of what to expect - simple in composition,
but oh so effective.
Dig Deeper, for instance, boasts some terrific acoustic guitar,
a very simple piano line and some neat trumpet moments, which
serve to highlight the strength of Drew's retro-styled vocals.
His tone is as deep as Dylan, at times, and as harmonious as
Neil Finn, at others, while also recapturing that Lennon/McCartney
sound, which, in turn, draws comparisons with the Gallaghers.
The songs, too, are strongly written, talking of lost love and
personal discovery, without every sounding too dreary or depressing.
There's nothing showy here, just an emerging artist at the peak
of his form, who is confident enought to let his talents shine
- hence, the deliberate lack of slick production values; the album
sounds raw, and all the more authentic for it.
Other highlights include Nothing Left To Lose (with its
psychedelia-laced verses and beguiling pianos), the country-tinged
Changing Face, with its catchy hooks, and the yearnful
Don't Be Denied, which evokes memories of Richard Ashcroft's
tortured vocals at their most Verve-like.
But then picking out highlights is almost futile, given the quality
of just about every track on the album.
This does, as other notices suggest, mark the arrival of a major
new songwriting talent, so don't let it pass you by. This sounds
like the start of something big.
1. Dig Deeper
2. Nothing Left To Lose
3. Changing Face
4. You Don't Know Me
5. Say You Love Her
6. Without Your Love
7. Don't Be Denied
8. Ok To Cry
9. Under The Weather
10. Leave The Fear
11. Goodbye For Now