Electronic experiments, sublime songs
Bodhi Heeren | Copenhagen | 05/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Bruce, mastermusician, composer, vocalist, made a string of brilliant solo albums in the years after Cream broke up. "Songs For A Tailor", "Harmony Row", "Out Of The Storm", masterfully blending hard rock, jazz, powertrio, avantgarde. But after that his soloalbums have been a more uneven affair, mixing the splendid with the more mundane.
One album has always stood out as a masterstroke, "Automatic". So its certainly in due time this excellent and compelling music is out on CD. Really just Jack and a lot of synths and keyboards and perhaps his strongest collection of songs ever. Bruce has always belonged to the chosen few who can write ballads that's not clichériden or sentimental, but instead heartgripping and transcendentally beautiful. Here we get a wholesome dose of those gorgous Jack-ballads, like "The Best Is Still To Come" and "Travellin' Child".
Some of synth-pads may sound a bit outdated, but as a whole this is really timeless quality music. Showing - in the many details - his great musical scope, incorporating elements of jazz and classical in the proceedings. Ranging from fiery soul in "Make Love (pt.II)" to the rather wacky avantgarde of "The Swarm". All of it sung with his trademark golden voice.
And perhaps the finest bunch of lyrics ever from long time collaborator Pete Brown. Often hinting at the transcendental and the spiritual.
(It should be mentioned that there's a great live-version available of the album on Jack's "Rockpalast" DVD).
William R. Nicholas | Mahwah, NJ USA | 08/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Think of 1980s techno pop, and Jack Bruce is probably the last name you think. Most people know him from Cream, a name synomomous with mainstreem classic rock.
But Bruce was never a bass player, but always a musican playing bass, working in jazz before and after Cream. So it is natural he would want to work with new sounds.
Automatic is Bruce working almost exclusively with digital keyboards and drums. This may take some getting use to--don't expect Wheels Of Fire or Songs For A Tailor. But the melodies are excellent and Bruce's voice--if he had never picked a bass up he would have still been one of the world's best singers- is strong as ever.
Greart chance to hear an old favorate in a new context.