British singer Steve Ellis’ had a bit of a revival over the last year or so, and it’s a good thing. He started his career as the wunderkind vocalist of The Love Affair, who scored big with the powerful single, “Everlasting Love.” The Love Affair didn’t last very long, Ellis’ career continued on, with different groups as well as different iterations of The Love Affair. Best Of Days, his solo offering from 2008, found Ellis in fine form. Though in his late fifties, his voice still contained the same youthful earnestness and vigor of his earliest work, while possessing a maturity and wistfulness that comes only from age. The songs range from introspective ballads (“Brand New Day,” “Little One“), mid-tempo R&B numbers (“Modesty,” “Heaven’s Word”), and mellow rockers “As The Crow Flies,” “Best Of Days”). A few of his friends appear here, too; Paul Weller (whose style owes much to Ellis) shows up on “Step Inside,” while old friend Roger Daltrey offers up some fine harmonica on “Nu Clear Blues.” Don’t be afraid of the remake of “Everlasting Love” as it’s not a rerecording of his biggest hit. Instead,it’s a complete rethink of the song, stripped down to acoustic guitar, string section, and backing singers. If the original version was a demonstration of desire through a powerhouse of an arrangement, this version removes all of that and shows that it was always the lyrics that made the song so wonderful. (A live version of the song is added as a bonus, an acoustic version that also features Weller.) Best Of Days is the sound of an old master simply doing what he does best—making great music, free of pretense and full of passion.
Best Of Days is available now on Angel Air
Categories: Album Reviews