What’s The Rockbrat Listening To Today? BRIJITTE WEST & THE DESPERATE HOPEFULS – FROM NY WITH LOVE (2016)

BW_From-NY-With-Love.gifBrijitte West is a major talent. She is a not a household name – but she damn well should be. She is rock n roll personified – like Chrissie Hynde. Yet without trying to sound provocative, Hynde hasn’t penned anything this good in a number of years. West writes amazingly catchy, heavy pop tunes (with a noticeable Americana edge) and profound lyrics that reflect her life’s experiences. She should have broken through into the mainstream 20 years ago. This album should rightly see her go through to the major league – it is simply, that good. As someone who has reviewed hundreds of albums over the years, I struggle to find superlatives that do these songs justice – and to highlight standout tunes, when the entire album is a standout.  Put simply, this is a phenomenal rock record, and is many ways the follow up to New York Loose’s (Brijittes’ former band) outstanding album from 1995 ‘Year Of The Rat’. Yes I know she has released music since that time (Desperate Hopefuls, San Dusky etc), but what I am saying is that this is without question, the best thing she has done in 20 years and is as good as ’Year Of The Rat’. I cannot overstate how good this album is. Top to bottom – every song is gold, with no filler in sight.  In a number ways, I could compare this album to Michael Monroe’s incredible comeback album from a few years back ‘Sensory Overdrive’. Like West, Monroe had released several albums since the early 90s, but it was ‘Sensory Overdrive’ that finally pushed him back into the spotlight, as the songs were all memorable, catchy and of high quality – and so it is with ‘From New York With Love’. From the opening riff of ‘Typical Drunken Loser’, you know you are hearing something special. ‘Typical Drunken Loser’ is a great opener, lots of hooks, riff heavy, sing along chorus – and a slashing Thunders style guitar solo. I adore the slow groove of ‘Permanent Ink’. What a ballsy tune, lyrically cutting and resplendent with harmony vocals. ‘Lie To Me’ is another peerless tune of the highest quality. Beyond catchy, this is just about pop perfection. For a song that deals with broken hearts as the subject matter, it’s one hell of a pop song. Super melodic, sing a long chorus, killer vocal delivery. In fact vocally, Brijitte West never sounded better than she does on this album. And the killer tunes keep coming, ‘Close To Defeat’, ‘We Didn’t’ Make It’ , ‘Done It Proud’. ‘Lock and Chain’ gets a special mention as it is super catchy, complete with sing along and melody aplenty. The brooding ‘Don’t Wait For Tomorrow is another gem and to my ears, would sit comfortably on ‘Year of the Rat’. That’s high praise, as I cannot rate ‘Year Of The Rat’ highly enough. The inclusion of a cover of Nick Gilder’s ‘Hot Child In The City’ works really well, before the album closes with the acoustic ‘Fire Brigade’, a pared back observation of a failed relationship – this song is simply stunning with the emotions running deep.  From New York With Love is beyond essential. 10 out of 10. Superb.Available now from Amazon.

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