Spectra Records
Release date: May 20, 2014

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Spirit is Deborah Bonham’s fourth album in a three decade recording career and her first in 6 years since the highly acclaimed Duchess album and while she may not break any new ground here she has created a classy collection of Blues Rock with a tinge of Folk as a perfect showcase for her raspy, powerful voice.

Opener “Fly” with its Southern Rock vibe and effective Pedal Steel guitar from BJ Cole has just a hint of prime time Lynyrd Skynyrd while ”Pain Birds” wistful delivery and slightly sinister guitar melodies combine to great effect before a thoroughly uplifting chorus kicks in. Peter Bullicks’s minimalist guitar solo is a lesson in how at times less is indeed more.

The centrepiece of the album is undoubtedly “Killing Fields” with an almost Springsteen/Counting Crows up-tempo feel with a stirring vocal from Bonham and an absolutely killer chorus which combine to create a sure-fire hit if released as a single.

Old friend Robert Plant shows up with a dirty, rasping harmonica solo on the pulsating Blues of “What It Feels”.

Bonham’s vocals are impeccable throughout and on “I Need Love” she gives the performance of her life which would give Janis Joplin a bloody good run for her money.

While there may be harder Rocking releases out this year the quality of the well-crafted songs on Spirit, the accomplished musicianship and the powerful, expressive vocals of Bonham make this a hugely enjoyable album which comes highly recommended.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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