mon 17/02/2020

CD: Roger Daltrey - As Long as I Have You | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Roger Daltrey - As Long as I Have You

CD: Roger Daltrey - As Long as I Have You

The Who singer's latest outing proves utterly unessential

Well that's the "Who are you?" question answered

It can be hard to put distance between an artist and their behaviour. Woody Allen films present a problem for some, while I, for one, will never see Tommy Robinson’s impressionist landscapes in the same light again. 

One rock musician who recently came under scrutiny is The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, after calling the #metoo phenomenon “obnoxious” and “salacious crap”, before adding, of his extra marital activity, “Come on, men are men,” and “there have been times when I’ve hurt her [his wife] and that’s upset me.” Sending hugs, Rog, sending hugs. 

His rejection of the zeitgeist also extends to his latest album, As Long As I Have You, of which he says, “This is a return to the very beginning… to a time when we were playing soul music to small crowds in church halls… now, I can sing soul with all the experience you need to sing it.” So, does his recent outburst cloud our judgment of this new offering? 

Not really, is the answer – the songs take care of that. The album is a collection of covers and Daltrey originals, which despite an ensemble of capable musicians, including Pete Townshend, seems to be almost completely devoid of the soul he's so keen to recreate. The opening Motown-esque shuffle of the title track offers some promise, but Daltrey’s voice sounds like it’s straining at the leash and desperate for a fight. That might sound like soul to some, but to these ears it’s Paul Shane with strep throat. 

Daltrey imbues Stephen Stills’ “How Far” with distinct echoes of The Who and familiar territory suits him better, but “Where Is a Man to Go?” is bloated by the sort of banal cliché and shopworn sentiment that clothes this collection. Take “Certified Rose”, in which Daltrey channels his inner pub singer to deliver unfathomably awful word choices: “I never want you to close/’Cos you’re the one I have chose/To be my certified rose.”

Meanwhile, an ill-advised cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You Haven’t Done Nothing” is just a bloated corpse of the original, all the life – and soul – sucked out of it by a spectacular lack of judgment and poor pacing. It’s utterly unessential stuff, unremarkable in every way. 

There are those who will wonder why he’s bothered. Those who think that if you haven’t got anything useful to say, you probably shouldn’t. Yeah, #metoo.

@jahshabby

An ill-advised cover of Stevie Wonder’s 'You Haven’t Done Nothing' is just a bloated corpse of the original

rating

Editor Rating: 
1
Average: 1 (1 vote)

Share this article

Comments

The review above seems like a hatchet job by a critic with a grudge against Roger Daltrey. So he speaks his mind, even on an unpopular stance... he doesn't like folks smoking weed at his concerts, either. I just bought Roger Daltrey's 2018 solo CD yesterday on sale, first couple of listens have been excellent, The Who in modern times, damned good. Pete Townshend’s vital and alive, adroit and distinctive guitar enlightens 7 of the 11 tracks on "As Long As I Have You", so, basically, this /is/ The Who, with the two surviving members still going mobile.

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters