Review Summary: "Driving towards the daylight....running from the midnight...."
Joe Bonamassa is one of those musicians that should have more popularity, but sadly doesn't. Having released eleven solo albums, a collaboration with Beth Hart, four or five live albums, and four records with supergroup Black Country Communion in a matter of twelve years, Joe surely is busy. To add to that, the man is only 35 years old. He was born into music by his parents, and by age 12 was on stage playing with legends such as B.B. King, Danny Gatton, and Eric Clapton. A true legend at so young an age, this is a man who should receive a LOT more praise, as"Driving Towards The Daylight" obviously proves.
"Dislocated Boy" opens the album in an epic, rocking way. The song is six and a half minutes long, and, although it can wear thin at points, it provides a fun time for the listener. Speaking of epics, that's really what makes this album so good. "A Place In My Heart" is a touching blues ballad with tremendous guitar playing. This is a song that not only uses it's lyrics to get to your soul ("No matter who you are, or what you do/There's a place in my heart for you") but also allows the toneful guitar playing to make you want to shed a tear or two. Following right after is "Lonely Town Lonely Street", a seven-minute epic that's filled with swagger and great playing, both from Joe and Anton Fig, the drummer (they sort of compete between each other). "Heavenly Soul" can also be consdered an epic, with a sort of country feel or so to it (I apologize I can't think of what to call it) that actually fits. Closer "Too Much Ain't Enough Love" features a man by the name of Jimmy Barnes on vocals with more (you guessed it) cool guitar playing. My only problem with this song is why they say it features Barnes when he sings on the whole thing. Personally, I would have liked Barnes and Bonamassa to duet on this. But hey, it's his song to begin with so let him sing it.
The straight ahead blues tracks are what make up most of the rest of this excellent cd. "Stones In My Passway", "I Got All You Need", "Who's Been Talking", and "New Coat of Paint" are solid tracks, but serve as the filler here. "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go" is a personal favorite with good lyrics, but the true highlight here is the heartfelt title track. I really can't get enough of this song, from it's beautiful, yet simple guitar intro, to its strong, but still simple chorus. With lyrics like "Who was wrong and who was right, and do we even know why we're fighting"/So take your eyes off of me, and look upon the churning sea", you get the sense Bonamassa cares about something more than just guitars (or in this case, someONE) as he soars into the refrain: "Driving towards the daylight, running from the midnight, trying to get my way home/Running from the spotlight, trying to find the daylight, trying to get back home". Like I mentioned, simple, but strong.
If you like blues music this is a great record, and even if you're just a straight up a rock and roller (like me) this will still be a very enjoyable listen. Joe has an amazing voice, and his guitar playing is never short of magnificent, either. This is the first and only Bonamassa record I've heard, but I'll definetely check out his earlier stuff. Keep em comin, Joe!
-A Place In My Heart
-Driving Towards The Daylight
-Lonely Town Lonely Street
-Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
-Too Much Ain't Enough Love
-Outstanding guitar playing
-"Guitar vs. drums" on LTLS
-Twelfth album, but not showing signs of letting up
-Few tracks can seem too long (Dislocated Boy, still a great song though)
-Needs more bass and organ at points