The opening song ‘Better Late Than Never’ sets the scene for an amazing journey through which CJ takes his fans. Easing into a new sound that directs attention, his vocals lets the audience know that this musician means business. Moving away from the sounds that were so familiar to him through other bands, CJ shows that his solo album is a more mature outlook on life which he could not have achieved without his short break. The proceeding songs are edgier and insightful containing driving guitar riffs like in ‘Down the Drain’, perky melodies (‘Always Believe Her’) and tight bass line and drum beat that has your foot tapping consistently through the whole 33 odds captivating minutes of the album.
The album also has it’s surprises as the opening song introduces synths and electronic bleeps which shows that while CJ was ‘on holidays for a few years’ he has been busy musically. The amazing facts about this album is that CJ recorded it himself in his spare room owing to the fact that he wanted to work alone on album and he named the album after one of his chickens (of which he has three). When CJ joined Overdrive for an interview he stated that ‘When I told people I was going to call the album after my chicken a lot of people thought I was crazy.’ He talks about how Weezer is an inspiration to him at the moment and this shines through in songs like ‘Always Believe Her’ where guitars are entering and leaving as they please, the vocals make you perk up and listen, and he creates an atmosphere of perfection without trying.
While talking to CJ he reveals that his cover of Blue Juice’s song ‘Vitriol’ was the first thing that he recorded for the album. He states that ’ I think one thing that the song always lacked was guitars and a sort of punk rock feel to it and I added it to my version.’ His confidence and new found passion for music makes this album the masterpiece that it is. It is catchy, has a big sound and commands the attention of those who press the play button.
The amazing sound of ‘Kentucky Fried’ gives a glimpse of the past that CJ comes from with catchy repeated riffs, powerful drum beats and decisive chords but this does not last long as the outro takes us into D.C which has a more dance beat with a rock undercurrent that is full of raw emotion.
CJ Wildheart has come a long way from when the Wildhearts ruled the airwaves but ‘Mable’ shows that there is plenty more fight in this guy and his talents will not be ignored.
This album was launched as part of a Pledge Campaign where CJ has reissued his first solo album “13” also. Just to show how busy this guy has been over the past few years he has launched his first range of Hot Sauces that are ‘a combination of beer, barbecue and chilli all in one bottle’ with more to come later this year.
Overdrive Rating -4/5
Mable is out now! Get your copy here!
Listen to the album below by clicking on the link!
Words – Karyn Corrigan.