The amazing thing isn’t that Ivory has grabbed some of the good things from contemporary music; it’s how he’s managed to blend such disparate elements into a reasonably seamless whole. Every artist strives for a signature style and it’s noteworthy that Ivory has managed to do this on his first time out. I occasionally hear ZZ Top style licks, but I’m sure this is entirely accidental.
Diving further into the music, the listener discovers that Ivory has spent a bunch of time carefully putting together lyrics. They’re a little bluesy, sure. But the words are worth listening to all on their own when you get tired of focusing on the tunes. Ivory stays away from standard blues subjects, unrequited love, no money, no job. My favourite is “Shadow Play”, a noir-ish little piece.
My complaints relate to the production and recording side of this album. I think there’s too much use of reverb and the sound is a little murky, which made me wonder if there was something wrong with my stereo. But no, the iffy sound was coming straight from the production methods used. I also find that the songs are a little uneven in that the drums occasionally take centre stage and become very obtrusive.
On the whole, though, Ivory’s sound is definitely attention-getting and guaranteed to make people sit up and notice.
Summary: Takes your ears hostage and won’t give ‘em back.