Chris Rea - Road Songs For Lovers album review

Back behind the wheel

Cover art for Chris Rea - Road Songs For Lovers album

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It’s been quite a while since Chris Rea released an album that wasn’t accompanied by a couple of DVDs or a book of paintings. All of which is grist to Rea’s broadening artistic mill, but this time he’s confined himself to recording an album. He’s even gone to a proper studio to make it, and it shows – there’s a focus and a sense of purpose that you don’t get from tinkering around in your home studio.

As the title suggests, Rea is on familiar ground once again, but his fans won’t be complaining. After all, the scenery on any road trip is an endless vista of observations and speculations, and Rea’s lyrics can evoke both with consummate ease, drawing you closer as the album progresses.

The musical class on this record is, of course, a given.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.