Patty Smyth’s new album is short on running time for sure, but not on quality.
Written by: Explorer
ARTIST: Patty Smyth
ALBUM: It’s About Time
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Patty Smyth – lead and backing vocals * Chris McHugh – drums * Charlie Judge – keyboards * Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass * Derek Wells – electric guitar * IIya Toshinskly – acoustic guitar * Cherie Oakley, Brandon Fraley, Jamie Fraley, Rodney Good – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Drive * 02 Build A Fire * 03 I’m Gonna Get There * 04 Losing Things * 05 No One Gets What They Want * 06 Only One * 07 Downtown Train * 08 Ode To Billie Joe
This is a most welcome return to the fray for one time Scandal vocalist Patty Smyth. She’s best known in these circles for the hit single ‘The Warrior’ and the chart-topping US hit ‘Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough’ with Don Henley.
She has also toured sporadically with a revamped Scandal lineup as well, and back in 2015 released a Christmas album, which proved the voice was still there firing on all cylinders. Outside of music, as I’m sure we all know Patty is married to tennis legend John McEnroe, but you’ll be pleased to know (or otherwise as the case may be) that he doesn’t make an appearance here.
Just the 8 tracks, with a running order of 33 minutes and one track being a reworking that appeared on her first solo album ‘Never Enough’ of Tom Waits ‘Downtown Train’. Am I complaining? No, this is all quite superb. Patty still has that wonderful rasp to her voice and the songwriting and musicianship are of the highest quality, as well as having the legend that is Dann Huff producing. What more do we need?
‘Drive’ gets the album off to a fine start, and is a quite stunning song, with a touch of Americana about it, and a lyric that she has poured her heart and soul into.
‘Build A Fire’ is a spritely pop/rock number that has more than a touch of Scandal about it. ‘I’m Gonna Get There’ is a lovely stripped back tune that emphasises just how great a vocalist Patty is, and ‘Losing Things’ is an acoustic based, almost country flavoured song and is quite beautiful in its reflective execution.
‘No One Gets What They Want’ continues with Patty’s soulful tones and highlights just how well the band and her voice gel together. ‘Only One’ returns to more familiar territory for Patty, and is an uplifting piece of AOR with a driving chorus that takes me right back to the 80’s.
The reworked ‘Downtown Train’, is stripped of its 80’s gloss from the first time she covered it, and is more in keeping with Tom Waits original version. The classic Bobbie Gentry tune ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ finishes the album off and Patty makes this her own with yet another beautiful soulful vocal.
An album short on running time for sure, but not on quality, and judging by the album’s liner notes there’s more to come from Patty. This is an album that’s never a demanding listen, but who always wants that? I’m just really pleased that Patty is back on the scene and creating top-notch music.
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