Review by Alan Holloway
It’s a sad day for music when one of the most talented vocalists around decides to lay his recording career to rest, but that’s the case with Brian Howe, a man so much more than the label “former singer for Bad Company” ever suggests. Owner of one of the most soulful rock voices to come out of the UK, he can hold his head high against the likes of Paul Rodgers, Danny Bowes and Glenn Hughes. With this five track EP he has decided to give fans a personal, intimate goodbye, with no record companies involved.
It’s no secret that I am a massive fan of Howe’s vocals, from the time he revitalised a flagging Bad Company to his solo work, he imbues every song with a passion and emotion that gets deep into your being. “Emotions”, then, is the perfect title for his final release, with the songs very much on the mellow side, each dripping with, well, emotion. “I’m Still There” and “Runaway Train” have a bit more pace, but you’d have to have a heart of stone not to listen to the closing track “Christmas” and not feel something. Any of the songs here would have been welcome on Howe’s last full album “Circus Bar”, which was my album of the year for 2010 (and still gets played at least once a week). Vocally, Howe is as perfect as ever, balancing power with subtle nuance, lifting each song that little bit higher than another vocalist might have done.
If you’ve ever enjoyed one of the 7 albums Howe has been involved in (a shockingly low number, really) then you owe it to him, and yourself, to download this (from iTunes) and enjoy the swansong of a true Voice Of Rock. Hey, if enough of you do it he might just be persuaded it’s all worth doing again.