Album review: Glenn Hughes, Soul Mover (2005)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 21, 2005

By Steve Newton

Seventies-rock fans who just can’t wait for the May 3 reissue on Rhino Records of Deep Purple‘s 1974 Burn album can get a similar taste of the eight-track era with the new release from Glenn Hughes.

As most dino-rock fanatics know, Hughes was the ex-Trapeze bassist-vocalist who, along with Whitesnake leader-to-be David Coverdale, joined Purple after singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover left the fold. Hughes shared the vocal duties with Coverdale but was far and away the more expressive and soulful crooner of the two (not a difficult feat, mind you).

Now he’s resurfaced with a wicked CD that features guitar ace and cowriter JJ Marsh and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, with ex-Peppers and Jane’s Addiction picker Dave Navarro contributing a nifty lead-guitar wipeout on the title track.

More than three decades after stepping onto the world stage big time, Hughes’s funk- and R&B-inspired vocals never sounded better, and Marsh proves himself a Strat man fully capable of conjuring that old Ritchie Blackmore fret-board magic.

Tastefully reckless, one-of-a-kind solos are the order of the day, especially on choice tracks such as “She Moves Ghostly”, “Dark Star”, and “Miss Little Insane”.

Hughes fans who may have been disappointed by last year’s long-shelved collaboration with Tony Iommi, The 1996 DEP Sessions, should note that Soul Mover is vastly superior in every way.

Now if only someone could tear Blackmore away from his current obsession with medieval minstrel music and get him back in front of a Marshall stack!

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