Title - 'If Life Was Easy' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Roger Glover and the Guilty Party
Released by Eagle Rock Entertainment/earMusic, If Life Was Easy is longtime Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover's first solo album since 2002’s Snapshot.
Indeed this new album from Roger Glover and the Guilty Party is lyrically culled together from snippets of ideas that the bassist had for years. Ergo, the album is introspective, thought provoking and its 16 tracks are filled with experimental techniques both instrumentally, compositionally and vocally.
'If Life Was Easy' starts with the quietly-passive, Randall Bramblett-sung, and very enjoyable 'Don’t Look Now (Everything Has Changed).' Instrumentally, Glover plays the baglama. A cross between a lute and a sitar he found on his travels whilst in Istanbul, the track is, for my money, one of the finest on the album and a terrific introduction to what is to come. The more frantic, higher dual vocals of both Dan McCafferty (Nazareth) and Peter Agney trade off on 'The Dream I Had' with the mellow 'Moonlight' backing it. Sung by his own daughter Gillian, the song is beautiful, truly beautiful - and also features father Glover on the Godin fretless bass.
The harmonica-driven skiffle jive of 'The Car Won't Start' bounces along next (with Glover on vocals for the first time), before the deeply-sung 'Box Of Tricks' (just one of the lyrical reveals of human emotion with regard his painful divorce), and the lighter title track, 'If Life Was Easy.' With Glover on Spanish and electric guitars, an interesting factoid about the song and its title is that it is actually dedicated to his mom Brenda, who passed away, and who loved the grammatically incorrect title song! So much, Glover left it as is!
Recorded in hotel rooms, on the tour bus, or occasionally in proper studios, next is the Randall Bramblett-sung 'Stand Together,' which features fellow Purple band mate Don Airey to play his own personal pianet - a rare German electric piano only made from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. Then comes the trippy 'Welcome To The Moon,' which is followed by the gorgeous sung-by-Gillian 'Set Your Imagination Free,' and then 'When Life Gets To The Bone' - a song predicting a decade of uncertainty, pain and expense!
Next is 'When The Day Is Done,' sung by Walther Gallay of France’s Café Bertrand before the delicious blues-sway of 'Get Away (Can't Let You)' providing a true highlight of the album. Then comes the Glover-sung 'Staring Into Space,' with 'The Ghost Of Your Smile' sung by Mickey Lee Soule (Elf/Rainbow) following close behind. Glover takes back the lead vocals on the great 'Cruel World,' before Sahaj Ticotin, a Puerto Rican/Russian American musician and record producer, and the vocalist/guitarist/producer from the Rock band Ra, wraps the album up with 'Feel Like A King' (a song that showcases Glovers joy that his being in Deep Purple has brought him over the years).