Glenn Hughes, the Jekyll & Hyde of rock is back with a new release. Fans of Hughes expect that he alternates his records with a hard rock and then funky mix of cuts. This follows his Hughes/Turner (as in Joe Lynn) project as well as "Songs in the Key of Rock" from the last few years.
Backing him up on this record is Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, as well as Dave Navarro (just two cuts) and a guitarist called JJ Marsh who has worked with Hughes for a number of years now. Ed Roth contributes keyboards.
The title cut is a funky, yet heavy, ball of swagger. Navarro's steroid-enhanced guitar and Smith's steadfast pace-keeping is the perfect carpet for Hughes' voice to stand. Never has he sounded so confident. "She Moves Ghostly" has a driving rhythm that throws his tasty bass playing up front.
Slow and nasty is the name of the game for the next cut "High Road" with some twangy guitar bits before moving aside for the '80s rock chorus. "Orion" sounds like it would next to "Sail Away" on the Purple classic "Burn" --- noting the absence of Jon Lord's Hammond B3, of course. Marsh uses up his arsenal of effects and tones on this one.
"Let it Go" is a slightly heavier cut that sounds almost Zeppelin-esque in parts and uses the dynamics well. Hughes is particularly compelling on this cut as his honey-bronzed voice draws listeners closer. "Dark Star" finds the Brit chasing down a more mainstream rock road that has great verses and an even better chorus.
"Isolation" travels that same rocky road albeit with the massive chorus kicking the dirt after a sleepy verse. All the other cuts are all way above average.
I've been a Glenn Hughes fan since he started with Purple in 1974. I have never heard him sound as good as he does on Soul Mover. Fans of his no doubt have this already but casual listeners can rest assured that this is a quality release that doesn't just have a single or two on it amidst a sea of filler. There is nary a clunker here at all. It's all an interactive CD which has a video of the title cut. Look for Glenn to tour later this year with Tony Iommi to support the new record, "Fused", which he did vocals for. In the meantime...get your soul moved.