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UB40 - Getting over the storm | FESTIVALPHOTO

UB40 - Getting over the storm



It's been an eventful few years for UB40. Singer Ali Campbell quit in 2008 blaming management and business problems - which appear to have been real problems since just three years later they were declared bankrupt. Ali's brother Duncan was drafted in to replace him and in 2010 the band recorded 'Labour of love IV'. Now the band are releasing a new album - 'Getting over the storm', the first since the bankruptcy and the first album to contain new material since 2008's TwentyFourSeven (Labour of love IV being an album of covers).
As with many of the band's albums, this new release contains a mix of new original songs, and cover versions, with just five of the thirteen songs being UB40 originals. Personally that straight away struck me as disappointing - a handful of covers is one thing, but when your last release was a covers album, to pack so many covers into this album seems excessive. Many of the covers on this album were originally written or recorded by Country music stars, which at first sounds like an odd choice until you realise that Country is very popular in the Caribbean alongside Reggae.

When you listen to the album, the country music influence is really clear. Yes it's a reggae album, but there's considerable use of the Pedal steel guitar, which more than any other instrument really does give a strong Country feel to the music. It works surprisingly well - Reggae with a country music feel, but listening to the album I do think there's too much pedal steel guitar - it does start to take over a bit. The overall sound though is classic UB40.

Obviously one area that fans are going to really focus on is the vocals. Duncan Campbell does have quite a similar voice to Ali Campbell which obviously helps considerably, but he does have a different style and his voice just doesn't seem as powerful (something that is really noticeable when you see them perform live). So I'd say that the vocals here are good, just not quite as good as UB40 fans have come to expect over the years

I've got mixed feelings about this album - it's a good album, but it's just not one that's likely to be regarded as one of their best. I think for me the excessive reliance on covers and the corresponding use of the Pedal steel guitar spoils it slightly. I still enjoy the album enough that I've pre-ordered it, but as I've already said, I don't think it's their best work.

'Getting over the storm' will be released on 2nd September 2013

Track listing:

1. Midnight rider
2. Just what's killing me
3. Getting over the storm
4. Blue bilet doux
5. If you ever have forever
6. Crying time
7. How will I get through this
8. He'll have to go
9. Blue eyes crying in the rain
10. I did what I did
11. On the other hand
12. How can a poor man stand such times and live
13. I didn't know
Twitter @UB40official

Skribent: Anthony May
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