McAlmont And Butler Bring It Back(Chrysalis) Buy it from Insound
I'm sure it's escaped no one's attention that the bringing back together of these two tortuous souls has happened now that solo careers have shuddered to a halt. Such is fate.
Not to worry. David and Bernard easily qualify as two of the more extreme talents this side of the Atlantic, McAlmost especially being a singer I would happily go and listen to live purely on the power of his voice, while Butler has proven himself (despite somewhat weak attempts of Neil Young-tinged solo work) to be an excellent guitarist.
Having heard nothing from their earlier album bar the Spector-esque sweep of Yes and the reports that their working relationship was testing at the best of times, knowing what to expect from Bring It Back was tricky. With it's wah-wah guitar and dramatic strings, Theme From is an extremely strong opening, and the form continues over Falling (aka Yes Mark II) through to the halfway mark track Blue.
Sadly, the second half fails to maintain the momentum, the title track in particular veering disturbingly close to M-People at times, though the closer Beat does a lot to make amends. Without dis-crediting Butler, the focus is always on his songwriting partner (even though Butler's development from guitarist in Suede to guitarist/arranger/producer here is more then impressive). McAlmont's voice is still extraordinary - surely no one alive is as close in vocal terms to Al Green as McAlmont? Indeed, the album as a whole will probably appeal to fans of early 70's soul. Anyone who found Al Green Explores Your Mind an essential listen will find much to love here.28 August, 2002 - 23:00 — Peter Mattinson