There’s something comforting about hearing an old master return to the studio and release a brand new album of songs. Songs that strike a chord in the heartstrings and gives the listener the realisation that no matter the public may think from time to time, there is always a place for the older statesmen of British Rock to make excellent music.
This is exactly what the frontman of British band 10cc, Graham Gouldman, has managed to do in his first album in years, the beautiful and yet lovingly simple, Love and Work. For those that have let the last 30 years or so bypass them in favour of Disco, Punk, Brit Pop and the Progressive Rock revival, Graham, no matter what you may believe has never gone away. As his multitude of fans will testify who turn up in their thousands to the bands gigs every year, Graham has kept busy playing the hits that people love and that are sure to adore this new body of work in which the music legend shows that class is most certainly permanent.
Touchingly, even before the listener opens the C.D., there is a dedication to the memory of Andrew Gold who sadly passed away in 2011. It may doubtful that this album may not have been made in a similar style had Graham Gouldman’s long time writing partner not passed on recently but there is a loving, brother-like shadow that comes across the songs on the album, and it credit to the Gouldman’s life and honest approach to music that he puts this dedication to Andrew Gold where those that buy this wonderful set of tracks will see it and not hidden away in the notes.
The music may be easy listening, simple, Sunday afternoon fare whilst the roast is cooking but it’s as enjoyable as the best meal of the week. It is homely; it is the sense of belonging within the best environment and being wrapped in the most comfortable blanket and away from the horrors of life. Within each perfectly laid out guitar moment there are some incredible lyrics that sit within the best of Gouldman’s back catalogue. On tracks such as Daylight, Cryin’ Time Again and the beautiful Memory Lane there is an abundance of music that’s been written with love that it’s almost gushing and it wouldn’t be Graham Gouldman without it.
Although it might be only bought by fans and purist collectors, Love and Work is an album worth buying, even if it only gets played whilst the Sunday dinner is being cooked. It will still raise a smile or two by those close to the kitchen to hear it.
Love and Work is available to buy from August.
Ian D. Hall