BAILEY (Three Lions) – Long Way Down [Japan Edition +1]
BAILEY is the new Melodic Hard Rock project masterminded by Three Lions front man Nigel Bailey, which debut CD “Long Way Down” features excellent musicians and some knocking merlodic hard rock tunes.
As usual, the album appeared before in Japan with the exclusive bonus track.
Once the wind filled his sails, Nigel Bailey’s apparently not about to rest on his laurels. This year he gained major recognition with Three Lions. Simultaneously, Nigel was already announcing his plans of releasing also a solo album.
However, the fact of the album’s being billed as ‘Bailey’ rather than Nigel’s full name suggests a mutual effort and a kind of project that’s evolved out of the recording sessions. Hence, Bailey’s the British singer/bassist with the addition of a few Italian musicians you already know from their impressive work on many different acts, both their own projects and guest participation.
It’s Alessandro Mori (Mitch Malloy, Bernie Marsden, Issa) on drums and Mario Percudani (Lionville, Shining Line) on guitars. Last, but not least is, of course, the irreplaceable (and omnipresent, it seems!) Alessandro Del Vecchio who’s responsible for producing the album as well as playing keyboards and singing backing vocals on it (together with Andy Bailey).
“Feed The Flames” explodes with a splendid keyboard & guitar laden melody, sounding as if Bailey’s solo debut was not too drastically detached from Three Lions’ style. But as it turns out, “Long Way Down” is a bit more diverse than the Lions’ self-titled effort, making an interesting prospect for a listener as soon as the second song on the album approaches.
With a distinct modern sound and a kicking hard rock vibe to it, enhanced even further by the clean-cut updated production and upfront instrumental parts, “In The Name Of The King” gravitates towards a bit heavier spheres of melodic rock. It’s something you might have not expected from Nigel and this particular album – the track number thus two constitutes a bit of a surprise which is always a good thing.
“Dirty Little Secret” is mostly a traditional AOR piece for a change, yet with some interesting six string flavors.
“Bad Reputation” is again more contemporary melodic rock, with an infectious guitar groove and a moving rhythm akin Glenn Hughes.
There’s great melodic choruses and simple-but-charming riffs on the AOR-ish “Stay” and “Somewhere In Oslo”. Next is the title track, an interesting juxtaposition of muscular riffs against a lightweight and pretty polished melody.
A mellow, acoustic intro heralds there’s a ballad coming, and “Spend The Night” is one of those grandiose slower moments indeed, complete with a wailing guitar sound and emotionally laden vocals. “Love Falls Down” and “Ticket To Yesterday” are another throwbacks to Three Lions’ debut album with its uptempo AOR charm that’s kind of reminiscent of the early Giant or Tyketto.
Having therefore spoiled a bit a fans of such sound aesthetics, Bailey ends the album on a high note and in a pretty feisty manner – a guitar-fueled, straight-in-your-face “Dirty Angel” is a perfect final to a record.
The Japanese bonus is a nice, stripped acoustic version of “Spend The Night”, one of the best composed tracks of the album without a doubt.
Perhaps the biggest asset of Bailey’s “Long Way Down” is that while the album remains within the realms of one musical genre, simultaneously it shows how many different approaches there can be to melodic rock aesthetics.
Having listened to both straightforwardly ‘80s-infused tracks and more modern-oriented ones, and having experienced both lightweight sugary melodies and slightly heavier songs, the listener’s left with the overall impression of great balanced versatility.
Supported by a crew of the extraordinary Italian musicians, and under the guidance of Alessandro Del Vecchio, Nigel seized the opportunity of showing different flavors to his talent when going solo.
“Long Way Down” is a really good investment for all the AOR afficionados and Melodic Hard Rock fans out there.
Marquee / Avalon ~ MICP-11192
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 (Acoustic) [Japan bonus]
Vocals, Bass, Guitars: Nigel Bailey (Three Lions)
Electric, Acoustic, Slide Guitars: Mario Percudani (Hungryheart, Lionville, Issa, Mitch Malloy, Shining Line)
Keyboards, Backing Vocals: Alessandro Del Vecchio (AOR, Hardline, Fergie Frederiksen, LRS, Revolution Road, Paris, Eden’s Curse)
Drums: Alessandro Mori (Glenn Hughes, Bernie Marsden, Issa) – Drums
Produced, mixed & mastered by Alessandro Del Vecchio
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