Recorded after wife Kim’s tragic death in a car accident, 2008’s Never Say Never was a (largely) sombre affair, the usually irrepressible Mac working through his grief in music. Five years on, with the Small Faces back catalogue finally in order and recently inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a founder member of The Faces, the spring is back in his step.
Horny opener All I Wanna Do sets the mood; all funky keys and a lock-tight rhythm section courtesy of his crack backing band, after which we get smokin’ blues (I’m Your Baby Now), honky tonk boogie (How Blue) and some slightly sozzled celebrations of love’s redemptive powers (Pure Gold, Shalalala).
While it’s gratifying to hear Mac’s fluid playing on such top notch medicinal rock’n’roll, the real surprise is his voice. A warm, whisky-soaked rasp, it peaks on red-blooded rocker Who Says It Ain’t Love where he even out-Rod’s Rod. Tremendous.