IZZY JAMES A Call To Conscience
US Izzy James, 2007
1) It's All Right 2) Change The World 3) This Way 4) Fallin' Sky 5) Stand Up
6) Caught Up 7) Something 8) Could It Be You? 9) Best We Can Do 10) You Make
Everything All Rright 11) Your Love
The quality simply does not stop! Izzy James may well be a brand new name to me,
but already he has won a similar respect and admiration that I ordinarily reserve for
my all-time favourite artists. Along with the recent Embers CD this is essential
from start to finish. The strengths of this CD are manifold. Musically if you
adore the soulful, jazzy grooves as laid down by Me'na, Liberty Silver, Melissa Forbes
then you will so want this album. Another more relevant comparison is with the superbly
talented Nicolas Bearde. Love him and you'll love Izzy. As simple as that.
The album is strong not only vocally or musically, yet lyrically too. The title of the
album sums up much of this set; a number of songs are socially conscious and are
fantastic in they are not idealistic or fluffy, nor are they preachy. Izzy has his
head on straight and is not afraid to ask the listener questions about family life,
politics and justice. Holier than thou he is not, but it is indeed a call to conscience.
"Best We Can Do" attacks the steady erosion of liberty and rightly states, "the writing
is on the wall". In fact, the situation is far worse than many could fear and as he
rightly states of his fellow countrymen "wake up".
This clarion call is metered with the impressive "Change The World" and the intensely
passionate and though-provoking "This Way". The answer, Izzy states is that things do
not have to be the way they are. Amen to that! The scene is also set for matters of
the heart, and on this matter Izzy has come up with some tracks that are simply mind-blowing.
A track on here is going to be MASSIVE. "Caught Up" is a simple smash. I doubt that
anyone hearing this will not be totally in love with it. The Carl Anderson /
Nicolas Bearde style vocals are matched by a superb set of musicians, the real
instrumentation and the sheer depth of care that has gone into the recording and
delivery of the song is simply breathtaking. "Caught Up" is as strong as anything
on The Embers CD, and if this is not a track to set the likes of Richard Searling,
Ralph Tee, Mike Stephens and Tony Monson alight, then nothing on God's earth will.
Another smash is the Tower Of Power-ish brassy "Your Love", resplendent in smooth
70s keys, horns and percussion the replay button will, I have no doubt, be pressed a
number of times. The funkier rhythm of "It's All Right" complete with excellent
backing vocalists who are totally at home within the Hammond organ and horns.
This slinky effort is repeated with "Something", which also benefits from slap
bass and some nimble funky guitar work. "A Call To Conscience" is an album that
can be put on from start to finish without you having to skip tracks. Certain songs,
as I say, will be massive and will sound as fresh and essential in 30 years time.
This is the real McCoy. Miss at your peril.
- Barry Towler