Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Heaven forbid the day when there is too much great music being produced that you find you cannot keep up with it all. Making time for an album should be savoured, it should want to be played at the right moment, not when fashion dictates. In that moment occasionally a beautiful album may slip through the net, not because you have forgotten but because the time never felt quite right in which to slip into the words of someone so talented a song writer.
Released in 2012, Speed of Life by The Christians is one such album that may have passed regretfully by the music lover, casual or in depth, and the embarrassment one feels when placing the hopeful, almost sanguine words sang by a Liverpool master and the delicate nature of the music which flows from ear to soul, is as close to music dishonour as you can feel. Of course there is always time to remedy the mistake but it won’t ever take away the feeling that you have been missing out on something very special.
Speed of Life may come across as more relaxed, an set of songs infused with a piece of serenity but as the world doesn’t seem to have changed for the better in the three decades since Garry Christian sang tracks that blistered and burst the pomposity of an distasteful ideology, tracks such as the excellent Hooverville, the utterly compelling Forgotten Town and the hidden anger of Harvest For the World, then neither has The Christians moral outrage at some quarters of life. The problems in the world still exist and whilst they do, great musicians and lyricists will find a way to shout about them.
Not that Garry Christian and the band need to shout, the words, the music supplied by Joey Ankrah, Neil Griffiths, Lionel Duke, Cliff Watson, Michael Triggs, Barry Parker, Momo Hafsi, Michael O’ Hayon, Paul Walsham and Stewart Boyle are all played with balance, the old adage of beware the anger of a patient man has never seemed more apt. Yet the beauty is there, the love that the band captured throughout their career is more than evident and on tracks such as Overwhelmed, Inner City Blues, A Love Ripped Apart and Steal Away, the love, the hurt and the longing are all wrapped up and ready to be bared.
It is never a good idea to leave an album too long, the regret of not having heard it before can sometimes pull too hard on the heart and the head.
Speed of Life is an excellent addition to the Soul/Pop Liverpool legends discography and the ever growing list of impressive music that Liverpool has nurtured.
Ian D. Hall