BRIAN MAY + KERRY ELLIS NEW ALBUM
Review By Caroline Hanks-Farmer
The 13-track album, which includes five original compositions, two by May, including the title track, and three by May and Ellis, has been released in the UK and Eire this April.
Golden Days includes new rock arrangements of some of May and Ellis’ favourite songs of all time: a tribute to guitar virtuoso Gary Moore, two songs dedicated to their work on behalf of wild animals, and a couple of reinterpretations of songs which have already become essentials in their live act.
In 2010, the May-produced Kerry Ellis debut album, “Anthems” gave the partnership their first taste of chart success and triggered a highly successful touring career.
“This album is a true collaboration between Kerry and myself,” says May. “Five years ago, ‘Anthems’ was the result of me producing an exciting new artist – Kerry Ellis. This new record has both our names on it, and breaks new ground. We produced ourselves together as a team. I feel confident it’s the best thing we’ve ever done and a worthy testament to 13 years of belief. It also happens to feature Britain’s most beautiful voice!”
Since undertaking their first “Anthems” tour of the UK in 2011, May and Ellis have gone on to play five further series of UK dates as well as widely touring Italy and Eastern Europe. In addition, they have regularly performed high-profile one-off concert appearances, such as the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival, Italy’s San Remo Festival screened live across Europe, and most recently a triumph at a packed Opera cross-over extravaganza in the beautiful Arena di Verona.
Unique fusion style
In what is now established as a unique May-Ellis fusion style, this collection includes May’s radical rock re-arrangement of the classic Born Free, the May-Ellis The Kissing Me Song, a re-cast of Ruth Moody’s powerful One Voice, and a new version of Amazing Grace. These sit alongside songs from such timeless writers as, Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson and legendary classic American songbook writers Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. Add to this the brand new self-penned high energy offerings It’s Gonna Be All Right” (The Panic Attack Song) and Roll With You, as well as the haunting retro-psychedelic Love In A Rainbow, and we become conscious of the broad musical landscape May and Ellis’ unique chemistry harnesses.
Though both strong in their separate careers, May and Ellis have been developing their own special musical interaction as a creative partnership for over 13 years, both in the studio and in live performances. What at first sight might have seemed an unlikely union of different styles has evolved into their unique strength – a fresh and original force in music.
“This new album has been a real journey of discovery and I feel so proud of how Brian and I have developed over the years; we have learnt how to work together and inspire each other to create special performances and music,” says Ellis.
“The album is really a mixture of our experiences and has a story behind each song. Brian and I have had such fun developing it and can’t wait for people to hear it.”
This album is an absolute delight to listen to. Hints of romance, rock and power ballads, Golden Days has a solid construction and a complimenting running order.
My favourite songs were:
Love In A Rainbow – the romanticism of this song is divine.
The title track – Golden Days with its oriental theme washes over you like an all-consuming loving hug.
Amazing Grace – Never one of my favourite songs I usually reach for the off button when it comes on the radio. However I feel I’ve found its beauty with the stunning vocals of Ellis. I’m now converted, I believe.
If I Loved you – one of my all time favourite songs and this is a truly special interpretation of it from May and Ellis.
The Kissing Me Song – I can see this being a smash hit if released as a single. A wonderfully popular song which has catchy vocals and background.
Well constructed new songs, favourite covers, which has a great running order with undulating emotions created. This album builds to a crescendo and brings you to a blissful conclusion. Heartily recommended for a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Further proof that May and Ellis make golden collaborators.
Order through Amazon here: http://smarturl.it/GoldenDays_amz
Brian May + Kerry Ellis – GOLDEN DAYS
(Sony Music Entertainment)
1. Love In A Rainbow (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)
2. Roll With You (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)
3. Golden Days (Brian May)
4. It’s Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song) (Brian May)
5. Amazing Grace (John Newton, Trad. Arr, Brian May)
6. One Voice (Ruth Moody)
7. If I Loved You (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
8. Born Free (John Barry, Don Black)
9. Parisienne Walkways (Phil Lynott, Gary Moore)
10. I Who Have Nothing (Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber, Mike
11. The Kissing Me Song (Brian May, Kerry Ellis)
12. Story Of A Heart (Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson)
13. Can’t Help Falling In Love (Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George, David Weiss)