Danny and the Champions of the World - What Kind Of Love
The opening to ‘Clear Water’, the first track on Danny & the Champions Of The World's fifth studio album is so like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band that it’s double take time. You'll check the CD tray to make sure you've not put The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle in by mistake, but it isn't and, despite the clear nods to The Boss, this is no tribute or half baked rip-off. Danny & the Champs have managed to not just authentically replicate that famous early E Street sound, they somehow appropriate it and make it their own. And the deeper into the record you go, the stronger the Champs' own influence is.
What Kind Of Love also represents the first time the folk rockers have managed to harness the loose energy and fun - yet serious - feel of their live shows in the studio, captured so well on 2014's Live Champs. ‘Precious Cargo’ winds to a sax filled conclusion; there's the relaxed 70s soul of ‘Can I Change My Mind’ and the guitar and keys riff combo on ‘Words On The Wind’, all we can safely file under 'the good stuff'. Big bearded frontman Danny Simpson’s vocals add something different (despite his untraditional tone) and, overall, this is slick, soulful music - the sort that will evoke good vibes in years to come.