Des Cox is no stranger to the music industry, he has done it all including performance of music and comedy, as well as a background in TV and film. The interest taken for this review goes way beyond the songs presented which precede a double album, A Little Ray Of Happiness, and makes for a mighty interesting subject when it comes to the artist. The knowledge it brings is almost distracting because there is more to Cox than meets the eyes and ears. These five songs are my only introduction to him, but it turns out he’s been at it since the 60s.
If you do your research you will see what I mean, there’s a lot more to Cox than this, but the focus lies on these tunes, where they come from and the album they will be on. The first track is “In My Day” and it plays like a comedy show complete with laugh track and a call and response vocal duet in the middle. It is very-hard not to enjoy this on the first listen. There is not just a song and some comedy here, it contains some fantastic guitar work as well, especially smoking toward the end.
“Summer Rain” comes in as if to be later in the theater show the songs follow the narrative of, as if to slow things down a little somewhere during the show. This is a much more serious tune, without the comedy routine but instead some very intricate guitar and vocals with more duetting with the same female vocalist. Unfortunately, I cannot credit the female vocalist, but it makes the music all-the more lovely sounding, especially on this track. Once again, the guitar playing is second to none and the overall arrangement although adlibbed turns in a very-fine folk ballad.
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“Silence” is also a quiet tune, but it is met with atmosphere including birds, etc. This song seems to be dedicated to the black bird and written on a cold walk during an arctic winter, and it doesn’t sound as live as the other tracks, so it stands out for that reason alone. And the following track “Here I Am” flows just right from the previous track and compliments it when played in succession. Both tracks come out clean and keep you wanting to hear more and more, even though only five tracks from the forthcoming album can be heard so far.
The best thing about these songs is improvisation, because that is the best thing to be said about a piece of music, but the live atmosphere of these songs also help present what Des Cox does naturally, which is play live in front of an audience. “At The End Of The Day” is probably the most melancholy track of the five, but it is also not without more true veteran musical astonishment. This track mesmerizes the senses and has me longing to hear more, which this album promises to bring, and I hope I do not miss it, gladly knowing of Des Cox now.
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