Bailey - 2014 Long Way Down


ARTIST: Bailey
ALBUM: Long Way Down
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Nigel Bailey - vocals, guitar, bass * Mario Percudani - guitars * Alessandro Mori - drums

Additional Musicians: Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Feed The Flames * 02 In The Name Of The King * 03 Dirty Little Secret * 04 Bad Reputation * 05 Stay * 06 Somewhere In Oslo * 07 Long Way Down * 08 Spend The Night * 09 Love Falls Down * 10 Ticket To Yesterday * 11 Dirty Angel * 12 Spend The Night (acoustc bonus)

RATING: image



The rock & roll gods have certainly smiled upon Nigel Bailey this year. Active for years in the local scene in Great Britain, he managed to catch the attention of the guys at Frontiers.

His collaboration with Vinny Burns and Greg Morgan on the fine Three Lions album this year was met with a lot of well-deserved praise. I compared his voice to guys like Eddie Money, Paul Stanley and Jeff Healey on my review of the Three Lions album.

That's a nice group, and he still sounds the same on this, his debut solo album. From what I hear, a solo album was always part of the plan.

The Songs

You might wonder how this album differs from that Three Lions album, as that one was pretty straightforward in its approach.

Well, this one is pretty straightforward too, although it hits harder. It is definitely a guitar album, full of riffs and power chords and all that good stuff.

Producer Alessandro Del Vecchio (I've lost count of the number of albums he's been associated with lately) is credited with keyboards, but they are very sparse. Probably a bit too sparse, as I would have liked a little more atmosphere or keyboard splashes in some places (I said the same thing about the Three Lions album).

But the guitar-oriented approach provides plenty of sound. I love listening to an album like this under headphones with similar but slightly different and complementary guitar parts.

Right off the bat, 'Feed The Flames' hits you with those guitars and sets the stage for what's to come.

The first single and video is 'In The Name Of The King'. This one isn't really representative of the whole album, as it is heavier and more epic in sound. But it definitely is a good hard rock tune.

I think Bailey's voice is way too smooth to call it metal, but I might with a different vocalist. I get the impression from the video that Percudani handles the guitar solos on the album. They're not quite as technical as what Vinny Burns did on the Three Lions album, but they definitely are just what these songs need.

'Dirty Little Secret' is a pretty standard rock song that is executed very well.

I got a hold of 'Bad Reputation' by pre-ordering the album on iTunes, and I rate it as my favourite on here. This is the song where keyboards are most prominent, in the form of brassy embellishments in the chorus. Yeah, it and the previous song are as cliche-ridden as anything from 30 years ago.

But I appreciate that as much as eating a burger from my favourite burger joint of many years. It's 'comfort music' to me, and quite good at that. It reminds me of what FM was doing on the classic 'Tough It Out' album.

If you have the 2012 album from Hardline, you will have heard 'Stay'. While I enjoyed that version, I prefer how Bailey does it.

Next is a change of pace with 'Somewhere In Oslo'. This sounds like it could have been a country-rock song, something like what Tim McGraw would have recorded. Although he'd have to call it 'Somewhere In Texas', I suppose. Anyway, it's nicely done and helps keep the album from veering into samey-ness.

And it helps reinforce the heaviness of the title track 'Long Way Down', which rivals 'In The Name Of The King' in its sound.

I've enjoyed recent albums from 3 Doors Down and Daughtry, and 'Spend The Night' is similar to some excellent slower songs from those guys. It's the power ballad of the album.

'Love Falls Down' has a sound that veers more towards quality AOR and is another of my favourites.

Of all these songs, I think 'Ticket To Yesterday' sounds the most like it could have appeared on the Three Lions album. It kind of has the same country-rock sound of 'Somewhere In Oslo' without sounding as much like it could have been a country-rock song, if that makes sense (it does to me anyway).

If you like songs that start with a powerful guitar riff, then you'll enjoy the second dirty song, 'Dirty Angel'. This is one that would have sounded good blasted on the radio years ago. I'll have to settle for blasting the CD - just make sure you play it loud. I'm pretty sure this song will appeal to the majority of you guys, and probably to the widest audience of any of them.

In Summary

Nigel Bailey is two-for-two with fine melodic English-styled rock this year. This is a bit harder than the Three Lions album, and there are enough guitars here to whet most anyone's appetite.

I think most of you would enjoy the whole album, but at the least you could cherry-pick a few songs that are up there with the best the year has had to offer.

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