Album Review : Paul Rogers - Midnight Rose
Reviewed by Carl Black
The photo that accompanied this album, (I hope it’s printed on the inlay of the album) is a black and white shot of a gentleman in a studio sat at a piano, wearing an elaborate jacket, dark glasses and a very big, knowing smile. I sense the smile signifies a contentment with life. A smile that is proud of the music within. A smile that says “this ol rock n roll life… it’s not bad really”.
The gentleman in the photo is Paul Rodgers (insert a description here, I won’t waste your time as you know who he is and what he has achieved) and he’s not released any original solo music in 24 years. The music within sums this man up and what he has done for rock and roll. The overall feel of this album is happiness. It’s a celebration on the man that has accomplished so much. It’s a thank you to all the fans that have stayed interested and want new music, so Paul has given them what they want.
Paul Rodgers is linked with dirty blues, bar room brawl, rock and roll. “Coming Home” and “Living it Up” tick these boxes very nicely. Uncomplicated rock that oozes class. Paul never strains or rushes his vocals. They are full of soul and character that is effortlessly delivered. It’s a master class. Continuing with the easy nature of the album, “Photo shooter” breezes in and is so uplifting, it makes you smile throughout. The title track starts with one man and a guitar. Summoning his inner Dylan, the song ends with multiple musicians joining in.
The second half of the album explores a softer, dare I say, spiritual side. There are a couple of gospel, soul tinged tracks. Sung beautifully and with such emotion. “Highway Robber” is a ballad that verges on country and western with a tear jerking Harmonica break that enhances the story of the song. The final track, “Melting” does exactly that. Melts the two sides of this record together. Delta blues start, full rocker by the end.
You get the feeling that Rodger’s is doing what he wants on this album. Again the smile may be saying “you waited this long…”. It’s a fantastic, upbeat, happy and positive record. All done with a smile on the face and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.