Released: 2004, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Bowes & Morley are known from the band Thunder. I liked their old band (Thunder) a lot and I’m not really sure if they have laid Thunder to rest or if they are only taking a break. However, Bowes and Morley started this project back in 2000 after some Japanese record companies wanted Bowes to do a solo album. Since 1996 Bowes was signed to EMI UK. When they let him go, he got together with Morley and they decided that instead of doing a solo album together this would be the birth of a new project. These guys are not new comers to the music world or to each other. In fact, the pair met up as early as 1975!
MO’S BARBEQUE is the second album from this project. The debut MORNING SWIFTLY ALONG, came in 2002. Bowes & Morley play classic 70’s retro rock’n’roll influenced by soul. By soul I mean they have used a horn section on the album. This project doesn’t have any resemblance to what they did in Thunder except for some minor influences. The old Thunder boys gathered 11 tracks on this follow up album, a few of them covers. The positive things with this album are that Bowes has a really good voice that still sounds very strong. As well, Morley is just as strong on guitar as he ever was. There’s nothing bad to say about the production either. Morley has done a good job and with the sound picture. On to the negative things then… I have to say that there is just way too much soul and pop influence - the material is quite weak! They sound just like a cover band and not as a project. They don’t have that special spark and fire in the music. The cover art is also below all standards. Bowes & Morley sound too commercial and radio-friendly on this album to say the least.
There’s a tour lined up for B&M but the line up has been changed two times already! B&M say that it keeps the project flexible and fresh for every tour. Their England/Japan tour during 2002 went really well and there are plans of doing more touring during 2004.
This album is not impressive at all. It feels boring in every way. I have given this album plenty of time to grow on me, but despite that I must say that this must be the most boring album I’ve heard so far this year!