[17 March 2011]
You know exactly what you’re going to get with Roomful of Blues. You should know because the band has been around for 43 years, playing its brand of high-energy, horn-inflected dance-blues with few deviations from its original template. The new album brings with it new singer Phil Pemberton, but few other changes. Uptempo good-time numbers like “That’s a Pretty Good Love” and “Ain’t Nothin’ Happenin’” predominate, and even slower numbers like “Kill Me” and “Win With Me, Baby” never stray too far from the party-on-the-dance-floor vibe. The piano-based “Time Brings About a Change” is the only tune here that might be described as deep blues.
The biggest knock against the band is its consistency, which is of course its biggest selling point for fans. If you’re looking for something unexpected or new, you’ll want to walk a mile to avoid these guys. However, if you want a dose of impeccably played, entirely predictable jump blues, this record will do nicely.