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The A.M. - The A.M.


Review: Jack Foley

WHEN Jeff Buckley, sadly, passed away, thoughts began to turn to what might become of some of his collaborators - most notably, Michael Tighe, who collaborated with him on such seminal works as So Real, Vancouver and Moodswing Whiskey.

Tighe, however, determined not to fade into the sunset, and launched Black Beetle, with fellow Buckley collaborator, Parker Kindred and Tighe's musician girlfriend, Joan Wasser.

But while that band was shortlived (as Wasser had her heart set on a solo career), Tighe battled on, eventually forming The A.M. - once more with Kindred, as well as musical powerhouse, Andrew Wyatt, on bass and keyboards.

The resulting album may have been borne out of New York, but many of its roots lie in the UK, with influences coming in the form of Bowie, Roxy Music, T-Rex and Suede.

Little wonder, then, that the debut album has been released on cult Manchester independent record label, Storm Music, who even helped the New Yorkers complete two successful UK tours earlier this year.

But the positive vibe surrounding them is perfectly justified. The eponymous album is a strong affair, and allows Tighe's guitar work to shine.

From the opening riff of Changeling, to the punchy Isolation, the album is jam-packed with some great hooks, and some neat keyboards, which hark back to the Seventies in style.

And while Tighe's vocals might not always seem up to the task, there are times when his style evokes straightforward comparisons with the likes of Bowie (as in Utopia), or early Suede (Transgression).

The songwriting is also strong, and a joint affair (with both Kindred and Wyatt contributing at certain points), taking listeners on some quite wonderful journeys.

It's the guitar work that leaves the biggest impression, and fans of genuinely great rock albums ought to find plenty to admire here.

As a debut effort, The A.M. look to have delivered the prelude to a beautiful career. They are well worth checking out.

Track listing:
1. What Ever Happened?
2. Reptilia
3. Automatic Stop
4. 12:51
5. You Talk Way Too Much
6. Between Love & Hate
7. Meet Me in the Bathroom
8. Under Control
9. The End Has No End
10. The Way it is
11. I Can't Win

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