"Time for a… Change" - Ray Wilson's Change album and bonus live disc reviewed by Alan Hewitt.I had waited a long time for this album. Mainly because it was very hard to find (thanks Jana!) but eventually I have had the chance to give it a listen (several in fact!). I have to say that Ray has definitely come of age with this album. Both as a singer and writer, this is an incredibly strong performance on both counts.
Opening with Goodbye Baby Blue a truly excellent song with a powerful vocal delivery from Ray and musically excellent too, a good start. Change itself is another good example of Ray's skill as a wordsmith maybe this could be his musings on the Genesis situation… maybe not! Either way it is another fine song.
Along The Way co-written with Ray's brother Steve is another fine song acoustically driven in fact the acoustic guitar suits Rays better than the electric in many instances. Yesterday and Beach are further good examples of just how far Ray has come. The vocal delivery of Beach in particular is one of Ray's best in my opinion and the acoustic version of Cut's Another Day certainly works a lot better and has still got the bite of the original.
All in all this is a superb album a BIG leap forward for Ray and one which certainly can be commended to anyone with an ear for a good song.
The limited edition of this album was accompanied by a bonus live recording from Ray's acoustic shows and once again this shows his talents off well. Opening with an acoustic No Son Of Mine, the album visits all points in Ray's career so far including a great performance of Change and the delightful camp fire version of Follow You Follow me which was such a highlight of the 1998 tour and a truly AWESOME acoustic version of Ripples and a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek I Know What I Like this is a delightful addition and proves that Ray can cut it in any musical style he chooses.
Ray is on tour later this year and is performing a handful of UK shows I shall
certainly be in attendance at at least one of them if only to hear his excellent
new material -well done, Ray great stuff!