BRIAN MAY and KERRY ELLIS are about to release their second studio album, "Golden Days", tomorrow April 7. The 13-track follow up to the duo's 2010 debut record, includes five original compositions, two by May, including the title track, and three by May and Ellis, plus new rock arrangements of some of May and Ellis’ favourite songs of all time, including a tribute to guitar virtuoso Gary Moore.
Five years ago, legendary Queen guitarist Brian May decided he would produce an album for an exciting new artist he had discovered. That artist was called Kerry Ellis and was well known to musical theatre audiences in London. She went on to be given the title of the ‘First Lady of the West End’ and established herself as one of the most revered musical theatre performers of her generation.
The album May produced was called 'Anthems' and signaled the start of a musical collaboration, which, much to the excitement of their legions of fans has endured and seen them play to packed houses around the world.
The pair has recently gone back into the studio to produce a new 13-track album entitled Golden Days, which perfectly displays May’s musicianship alongside Ellis’ exquisite vocal ability resulting in an record filled with soaring melodies and varied rhythms.
It’s an eclectic mix with something for all of their different types of fans, from rockers to power ballads to classic covers and even one musical theatre standard put in for good measure.
Highlights include a poppy melody written by the partnership called “The Kissing Me Song”, the fun rocker "Roll With You", or a song they have performed live on many occasions and which highlights the pair’s devotion to animal rights, John Barry and Don Black’s “Born Free”.
But my absolute favorite is the rousing version of Phil Lynott / Gary Moore’s classic “Parisienne Walkways”, featuring some great guitar riffs by Brian May and wonderful vocals by Kerry Ellis. This is where Kerry and Brian merge perfectly together in music, with her voice and his music, it feels as though they are playing each other.
I always thought Brian May had to do a version of a Gary Moore song, and he does not disappoint here.
Musical theatre fans will simply adore Ellis’ rendition of “If I Loved You” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, which is performed with just an acoustic guitar to give a melancholic and heart wrenching sound and there is also an interesting addition to the track list, with the sweet, psychedelic “Love In a Rainbow” complete with sitar accompaniment.
Classic songs "I Who Have Nothing" made famous by Shirley Bassey and the Elvis single "Can’t Help Falling In Love" are great additions, and"Amazing Grace", whilst a slightly odd choice, is very pretty.
If I had to put this album into a particular category it would have to be '80s Rock with hints of Chrissie Hynde and female rockers from one of the best decades of music in our history.
"Golden Days" is testament to the depth of May and Ellis' relationship, full of a real chemistry that can't be faked, and musically varied enough to please all audiences.
01 - Love in a Rainbow
02 - Roll with You
03 - Golden Days
04 - It's Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song)
05 - Amazing Grace
06 - One Voice
07 - If I Loved You
08 - Born Free
09 - Parisienne Walkways
10 - I Who Have Nothing
11 - The Kissing Me Song
12 - Story of a Heart
13 - Can't Help Falling in Love
BUY IT !