Wasn’t really expecting this from Bill Wyman; a solo album after 33 years!
A Rhythm Kings album yes, they are pretty regular, but a full blown solo effort, no this came out of the blue and from his archives. There’s not much of the Rhythm Kings about this collection, it’s more introspective and personal, looking towards the likes of Tom Waits and the midnight hour, than goodtime trad. R&B.
The easy going, slightly sinister, What & How & If & When & Why kicks off the album. And that easy going nature is pretty much the template for the album. It’s not a challenging listen by any means and not many songs really stand out, at first.
After a couple of spins She’s Wonderful and the re-recorded (still caustic) Seventeen wheedle their way out the collection, closely followed by the Latin American flavoured November, and the bar stool, whiskey and fags closer I Got Time.
Wyman’s functional, semi-spoken vocals are to the fore and as he saunters through various, primarily American musical genres, a distinctly English ambience begins to emerge. All told, there aren’t any fireworks here, just a warm smouldering fire in the hearth.
Back to Basics will be available in the U.S. through Amazon on June 30.
In 1982 Billy Wyman had a hit with ‘Je Suis Un Rock Star’
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