Mad Affair Album Reviews
HELLO TO A MAD AFFAIR
As I popped the CD into the player, I wasn’t sure what to expect. ‘Mad Affair’ is the first solo album by Bob Bradbury, former frontman of Glam Rock band Hello, whose hits “Tell Him” and “New York Groove” graced the UK Top 10 during the mid-Seventies. I hit the Play button on my stereo, and sat down to write. Some chance of writing!
From the very outset, as ‘Coloured Me Censored’ belts you straight between the ears, this album demands your full attention. Mr. Bradbury doesn’t make background music, and despite him being very much a face of the Seventies, his music has a fresh fearlessness that sounds as if it’s straight out of the Eighties. Regular readers to my blog will know that I am a fan of Matthew Rudd’s Forgotten 80s radio show on Absolute 80s. Well, this whole album is like an Eighties’ gem, long forgotten or even undiscovered until now, embodying everything that was good about the music of the Eighties and very late Seventies.
There are touches of Ian Dury, The Members, and even a hint of the B52s (on ‘She Got A’), along with heavier rock tracks like ‘Something Out There’ and ‘Climb On’, all offering a reassuring familiarity that makes you think this really could be a misplaced album from your existing collection. Yet, Bob’s distinctive vocals and track arrangements ensure a very definite originality, perfectly exemplified by the title track.
Opening with a sunshine style reminiscent of The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’, it’s not long until ‘Mad Affair’ plunders into some power rock, before finishing with an exquisite guitar solo. Then, there is my favourite track, ‘Every Week’. A drum-loaded salute to the transition of Seventies into Eighties, Punk to New Wave, which ends with the spoken lines:
“Oi guv, got any spare change?”
“F**k off – buy your own lottery ticket!”
But there’s no need to take my word for it. The following video offers a few snippets of the album, which can be ordered from Bob Bradbury’s website.
So I've just received a cd by 70s Legend and still HELLO frontman Bob Bradbury...Ive listened to it 4 times and still cant believe how fresh and upto date this is. 13 tracks of pure pop/glam metal Rock n Roll by a guy who shows that being nearly 60 doesn't mean you cant produce and record an album of such professionalism that it should give the young Rockers of today a good run for there money.
So the album is called "Mad Affair", written recorded and produced by Bob himself...I asked myself a question: Will it sound anything like HELLO? Maybe the odd bit here and there but this is so much more than that in terms of its power, its Intricasies, its production, its Lyrical content and its overall listenability.
Track 1 is Colour Me Censored, Bass drum & Guitar intro with subtle hints of Glam Rock n Roll, I'm hooked already, so fresh, so entertaining I played it through 5 times while writing this review. What Bob has managed to capture is a piece of Rock n Roll that you would think is so far away from the Early HELLO recordings, you would have to ask yourself Is This Really Bob from HELLO. Great production, strings and synth's fit beautifully into the Rock Guitar, Solid Drums and chunky Bass...a sound that so many of todays Bands should be listening too and learning from. This album surprises you on every single track.
Track 2 is Dead Right, Rock n Roll for the man of 2015 but like all of the tracks on the cd it surprises you round every corner, Arpeggio'd synths sit nicely along side the Blistering sound of the Drums, Bass & Guitar, neatly written vocals just flow from start to finish.
Track 3 Living in Red, it made me chuckle..why you ask? The intro reminded me of Duran Duran's Girls on Film until I found out it was a shop Till but this is what the cd does to you, taking you round corners in the blink of an eye but done cleverly and with such ease. Living in Red is pure guitar driven Rock with elements of Motley Crue.
Track 4 Some Days is just pure brilliance in the way its written and played, layered Vocals and the overdriven guitar and Manicured Bass line half way through just goes to prove that this cd isn't just a one trick pony.
Track 5 Something Out There, totally different again in its approach to grab you by the Bo**ocks, a very eerie intro, a pounding back beat with guitar solo's to die for, the merging of the 2 parts is astounding and Reminiscent of nothing else I have listened to.
Track 6 She's Got A, has an ever changing sound in relation to the level of distortion used in the guitar parts, some of this stuff is way beyond anything I could play or have ever heard before. The plectrum hitting the strings sound is so meticulous and brave some would say but we are dealing here with a musician who has been around for more than 40 years, ,a flash of inspiration has lead to a powerful and very believable piece of glam pop rock.
Track 7 Living Out London has a guitar intro reminiscent of the Cars Best friends Girlfriend, light and layered vocals lead into sneaky peaked Bass notes, cleverly written lyrics and Rock That Greenday would be proud of. You listen right to the end of the track and still the rhythm gets you ready in anticipation of what's to come.
Track 8 Climb On with its Squalling feeding back guitar intro has you hooked from Bar 1, 8 Tracks in and I'm still listening.The stand out piece of this track is the amazing Guitar solo that doesn't overpower the track at all but sits comfortably along side the yet again pounding drum beat and intricate bass Line.
Track 9 Every Week is rock n Roll the way it should be played, but there is nothing samey about this track compared to the others at all. This would make a great single, the clever vocals in the middle of the track, layered just right and the way the word "Money" is recorded over the already great piece of 2015 pop/rock.
Track 10 She's so False at the beginning reminds me of 80s synth pop but then you get taken into another direction with the over driven guitars and vocals changing regularly without taking your mind off what you are listening too.
Track 11 Genius is exactly what it is...Pounding Kit, Thumping Bass lines and compressed vocals make this one of the standout tracks of the album. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I know this guy quite well and he's still grabbing my attention after being in the business the length of time that he has. The synths and Bass have there own mini battle towards the end of the song but that isn't an issue, they fit where they are meant too and yet another twist at the end with classic fading and a dirty sound.
Track 12 Overhear has yet another difference to the previous tracks, Overhear is strewn with so many different elements which some would say isn't listenable but you would be so wrong. The way the lyrics sit amongst the tight Bass & Drums is a delight to listen too, soft rock meets pop/rock in its purest form and the Electronic sounds of the keyboards make this a so relevant track for today's market.
And finally the title track "Mad Affair" which some would say should be at the beginning of the list BUT you would be so wrong...this is where it should be with its acoustic & Electric guitar intro you are soon immersed in a piece of classic Rock, Beautifully played guitars intersperse neatly with the constant brilliance of the Bass & Drums. The partially spoken lyrics lead into a crescendo of Power pop Bon Jovi would be proud of, alongside backing vocals of the Def Leppard variety.
So this is cd is by Bob Bradbury of HELLO and now Bob Bradbury the soloist. What can we take away from this listening experience? The facts speak for themselves, This is a 100% top of the range car but in Music, Bob should be proud of what he has achieved here, not one track outdoes the other...Bob Bradbury not only has the voice of an Era but put Him & this cd on a live stage and you have fresh, undeniably fantastic writing, great playing ect and the voice of a talented never to be afraid artist.
A special mention must go to Mr Simon Ellis (Guitar God) of Bob's Hello who plays solo's on 3 of the tracks and you can tell, he's a one off and long may he,Bob, Corrie & Jake keep the HELLO name around for a good few years to come.
Hello band lead singer Bob Bradbury's new album is fantastic! Great songs, lots of very creative heavy prog-rock guitar riffs, fun vocals, clever lyrics, crisp production. My friend for years and years and my London Charles Street neighbor at Bell records (next door to the label I was signed to, RAK) in the 70s! Congrats Bob! Nice one!