Revolutionary Soul by Derek Davis (Apocalypse Records)
Derek Davis is best known as the charismatic front man for the almighty Babylon A.D. – a hard rock band from the late 80’s / early 90’s – whose songs such as Bang Go The Bells, Hammer Swings Down and The Kid Goes Wild were all over the radio airwaves. Those who have seen recent Babylon A.D. shows witnessed Davis in top notch form – his powerhouse vocals bringing new life to the classic cuts from another decade. Derek Davis has kicked off a brand new year with a blast, unleashing a solo album destined to enrapture his fans. Those looking for a hair metal rock and roll extravaganza are in for a surprise however, as Davis goes funky R&B retro on Revolutionary Soul, with the auditory results being absolutely explosive.
“Welcome to my revolution” is the inviting introduction on the ultra funky, fist pumping title cut, instantly hooking the listener it with its wildly infectious grooves and superbly impassioned vocals. Rapture pulsates through your senses with its vibrant rhythms followed by a dazzling cover of the Amy Winehouse hit song Valerie. The psychedelic reverberations then slam into the forefront with the wicked and wonderful inflections of Think About It. Love And Abuse slips and slides with bluesy passions seething. Then we go all the way back to the historic Nobody Knows When You’re Down And Out selection originally released by Jimmy Cox in 1923, and still gloriously relevant in this modern day with a spirited performance by the one and only Derek Davis.
The second half of the Revolutionary Soul experience kicks off with Vicious Heart, imaginatively recorded and unveiled like a radio ballad from the all so distant past. Woman’s Gotta Have It (a Bobby Fuller cover) and King Of Fools continues the vintage soulful themes with a grand and stylish flair. Then we are back in rock and groove heaven with the timeless artistry displayed within Picture Of Love. Stop! Wait A Minute is the kind of sweeping balladry that would keep you company when transmitting through the radio on those dark and lonely nights. And then closing out Revolutionary Soul is the emotionally devastating All The Roads, leaving the listener thoroughly captivated!
Revolutionary Soul is a vast and adventurous effort, fully realized by its mastermind Derek Davis – who not only sings with a heated passion but also performs all of the instruments. An infinitely intriguing album that all types of music connoisseurs will wish to revisit time and again, Revolutionary Soul is sure to inspire all looking to be swept away by the sweet timeless melodies delivered by one of rock and roll’s truly gifted yet scandalously underrated artists.
(Review by Ken Morton – Photo by Joe Schaeffer)