What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today ? ELLEN FOLEY – ABOUT TIME (2013)

‘About Time’ was released late last year, and it is Foley’s first album in 30 years. That’s right – the smouldering blonde with the piercing eyes and dulcet tones is back in a BIG way – with ‘About Time’ being the best thing she has done to date. Her voice still sounds as strong and identifiable as ever, yet the big difference between this and her previous albums  – is that ALL the tunes on ‘About Time’ are memorable, making it easily her most complete album. When looking for album inspiration, Foley looked to the music that started her down the rock ‘n’ roll road as a teenager in St. Louis, the three-minute masterpieces that made her into a singer – The Shirelles, The Rolling Stones, The Shangri-Las. Those influences (and more) are in abundance on ‘About Time’.  There’s plenty to appeal to the Ian Hunter / Mick Ronson  purists whose influence blue printed much of her first album, with likable, catchy  rockers (‘Worried Woman’, ‘Nobody Ever Died From Cryin’),  yet if you are thinking ‘Night Out’, think again. In 2014, Foley’s vocals are ripe and refined, treading towards Americana and blues/jazz terrain that give her songs not just immense appeal, yet show in no uncertain terms that that Foley is on top of her game as a vocalist. However it’s the sheer quality and depth of the songs that give her the space for expression as a vocalist, and collectively, the songs on ‘About Time’ are superb. Most of the tracks are written by Paul Foglino, an award-winning songwriter from NY’s folk/country faves 5 Chinese Brothers. ‘If You Can’t Be Good’ with its lyrical twist and catchy melody lines is stunning roots country, as is ‘All Of My Suffering’. In fact it’s hard to find superlatives to highlight each tune when all are standouts. The brooding slow blues of ‘Guilty’ highlight robust and sultry vocals that never sounded better, or stronger – whilst ‘Madness’ conjures up images of Bourbon Street’s smoky clubs  from yesteryear. The catchy ‘If You Had A Heart’ is draped in melodic sensibilities. Infectious pop of the highest order and in a just world would be Top 10.  The reflective ‘Any Fool Can See’ is another goodun, one of several tunes that show Foley looking back over her past, (‘I’ve Been Around The Block’ is another). The plaintive ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ has a sanguine charm that leaves the listener with a smile on their face – and after 12 tracks I’m left wanting more! Foglino has proved himself to be a top shelf songwriter, and the perfect foil for Foley. ‘About Time’ is one of the surprises of the year – and my favourite album of 2014 – (a claim I don’t make lightly with half the year just done!) yet it is quite simply – that good. Foley is more than just a pretty face, she always has been the real deal – and with ‘About Time’, she should justifiably get the respect she deserves. 9.5 out of 10.

Head to her web site where you can download Cowboy Col’s album of the year for only 10 bucks!


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