Review by Richard Henry for MPM
So, I am giving this a review with fresh ears, I did buy it when it came out originally in 1999, Gary obviously covers a lot of genres in his time, from Fusion, Metal, Rock, Blues and this album and the previous which again went in a different direction, more along the lines of rock/blues straddled with a bit more electronica:
Track 1 – Go on Home
Stuttering riff to start this one, we then slide into a Primal Scream sort of groove, this really if you think about it, is like a delta blues track that has been modernized both in terms of sound and production, there are no real guitar moments in this song in terms of solos, just a bit of nice slide playing at the end, reminds me of some of the stuff Jeff Beck was doing in this era as well!
Track 2 – Lost in Your Love
This one works for me, more of a drum and bass sort of drum part with a nice bassline, the keys really add to this and when they kick in on the chorus it lifts the song, great vocal and the verse is littered with little guitar figures, short solo which is more like following the riff, then a breakdown into a 100% drum n bass part then back into the chorus, maybe some reggae vibes as well on this? The end is the first sign of a proper guitar solo, tasteful and following the vocal line for a good bit and then letting loose but always coming off as not shreddy!
Track 3 – Worry No More
Restrained guitar figure to start this one, before another almost hip hop beat kicks in, peppered with little guitar figures, this is the most metal track so far, when it kicks into the chorus you get proper distorted guitars, then breaks back down again into the verse with the cleaner guitar sound, the solo sounds like Stevie Ray over that hip hop beat, which is sort of cool and different, this song for me probably outstays its welcome and could have faded out on the chorus and not breaking down to the beat and fading it out on that for as long as it did
Track 4 – Fire
Hendrix meets Roni Size, it’s an interesting interpretation of this classic song, for me it’s different enough that I like it, Gary probably playing his red strat and letting loose a little bit on this, I think it’s the only thing for me is he probably could have let loose on this one but he didn’t , he played a lot of the Hendrix parts but didn’t really do anything else, and we all know if you have watched the Strat Pack concert that he is more than capable of ripping up a Hendrix track!
Track 5 – Surrender
This is a very laid-back track that is a slow blues, I mean it works but I felt on this one it could do with a sound more like on After Hours with a horn section much like Cold Day in Hell had? After the chorus it has a part that sort of sounds like a James Brown section, we get a really lovely solo before we hit verse 2, really nice how everything backs off for the solo, giving it space to breath and develop, this is what the guitar fans are waiting on, a good 4-5 mins of a solo, and just shows what Gary is capable of, fantastic, best track on the album for me.
Track 6 – House Full of Blues
Full on electronica on this, it actually reminds me of a track from Joe Satriani’s Engines of Creation album at the start, its full-on drum and bass drums with synth over the top, it still drives along with its staccato rhythm and Garys aggressive vocal leading into the chorus before breaking down again into the verse, it’s another song where you don’t really get a solo, more just little stabs of notes, and I remember when I first heard the album thinking the same thing.
Track 7 – Bring my Baby Back
Now bear with me, the start of this song, I can 100% hear Rory Gallagher doing a song like this, just how he done Out on the Western Plain, it has that Americana/Folky sort of vibe to it? You then get a straight beat that you would here a drummer do before the electronic elements come in, now there is a bass line that sounds like a digeridoo, but the whip crack sound just ruins this for me, it’s also another track that could have ended or faded about a minute before it actually ended!
Track 8 – Can’t Help Myself
Spoken vocal over another drum and bass groove, with a feeding back guitar bouncing over the speakers, there is very little in the way of instrumentation till about 2 mins in, then you have a bit of a blues solo, again like a lot of the album its very restrained, the bass line is almost so loud in the mis that it takes away from it, yet again it’s another track that nothing happens in the last minute and it really should have faded out earlier
Track 9 – Fatboy
Dj play my song, it sounds like a remix at the start, now I actually really liked the groove of this track but constantly cutting it up with “Let’s Hear it for the Fat boy” gets really thin, the riff itself is cool, but for me this is pure filler, and it does nothing for me at all.
Track 10 – We Want Love
Again, really laid-back groove complete with a constant Dj scratch that gets really annoying really quick, there is some nice chord work with a lovely vocal before verse two, the singing is great, and Gary sounds really good vocally on this but that scratch at the end of every line is just annoying, I like the guitar figure during the chorus, we get a really nice solo, a lot more bluesy in direction showing what Gary does best, but like a lot of the solos bar one song, it’s really short.
Track 11 – Can’t Help Myself (E-Z Rollers Remix)
Remix of Track 8, now my last words on that track where “yet again it’s another track that nothing happens in the last minute, and it really should have faded out earlier”, well instead of a 6-minute track this is a 12-minute remix, it just does nothing for me at all!
I am a massive Gary Moore fan, but much like at the time when I bought it, I was not a fan of some of the production choices, the lack of playing on it, and yes I know he was going a different experimental direction, much like Jeff Beck did around this time, but for me, there are just parts went on too long, songs that would have ended a minute before they did and just generally not an album I would stick on again, I have it in my collection as I do the rest of the albums, but for me I preferred “Dark Days in Paradise”, and it’s not an album I would stick on much either but it seemed a bit more focused than this album does.
For these reasons I would give it a 4/10, if like me you have all his albums then it’s for completion but if you want to hear Gary rip it up and do what he did for 95% of his career, probably not the album for you, but don’t take my word for it, give it a listen and see what you think.
To pre-order / stream A Different Beat go to: https://gary-moore.lnk.to/adifferentbeatPR