Album Review: BEN POOLE

Time Has Come (MANHATON)


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Young pretender continues to show promise.

So where does Ben Poole’s third album place him in today’s soulful blues-rock stakes? The omens are good with the stuttering, slightly discordant riff on the sturdy opener Lying To Me, the resonant sound immediately demonstrating what producer Wayne Proctor brings to the party.

Poole racks up more credit whenever he injects his tasteful, piercing lead guitar into the mix, peaking with the extended, dynamic workout on the absorbing Time Might Never Come. He can be expressive lyrically too, nailing impatient youthful lust in Stay At Mine, and executing neat wordplay on Just When You Thought It Was Safe.

But some songs are too slight, while lyrics such as those in You’ve Changed risk sounding plain wet. And though Poole’s voice is soulful, its boyishness can become wearing. The time has come for Ben Poole to find more of his dark side.