Rating: ★★★★★

It’s the soundtrack to Sky Sports F1 program ‘The F1 Show’, but Just Drive is the single released by this singer/songwriter at the beginning of 2012. After listening to the cut-down version on the television program, and falling in love, I eventually bought the album it belongs to. Albion Sky it is, a 12 song album featuring my personal favourites Just Drive, Chemistry, Willow Girl, Silent Suicide and I Have Lived. That doesn’t say that the rest of the album is something to skip through, most definitely not. It’s quite the opposite.

The album kick starts with Blinding Lights, with similar resemblance to Keane’s Perfect Symmetry album released a few years ago, but with a more definite passion behind the songs. With catchy vocal hooks, it’s the perfect opening song and leads perfectly into the full length version of Just Drive which drew me to the album. With it’s beautiful clean guitar and minimalistic piano, it leads with raw vocals with a sense of real motivation to what is an incredible song with huge amounts of spirit. A real ‘get up and go’ attitude is felt, infecting anyone in earshot to sing along with it’s meaningful lyrics.

Save This Day follows the power driven song, with a definite punch. It becomes apparent that the album has enough variety to keep you engaged, while being a definite eye-opener. As with Just Drive, it has real lyrics that pull everybody in. It’s fast paced and has a real sense that it’s leading somewhere, without the feeling of being a one-level song that leads to nothing as I find more often amongst new albums.

After a couple of slower songs, the album finds it’s way to Chemistry which has a real desire to be a dance anthem. It’s vey rare that I get so hooked on a particular song, especially one that begs me to do more than just tap my foot. My whole body engages with the song on a whole new level that hasn’t been experienced before, especially by ‘just another song on the album’ as I might usually call it. For me, this should set a standard amongst new albums, with what feels like a real album for once. My only wish is that more people appreciated music like this, something that takes the listener by surprise on every song and delivers the expected and a lot more.

Taking the album further, you have High, Willow Girl and All These Dreams.

It is no longer a favourite album now, this is beauty. A real art form in my opinion, with so much of my own expectations for albums pushed to new levels, I find it difficult to criticise it! Except  for only one song that I’m not too keen on; When God Was A Boy, which is perhaps a little too empty and slow. However, the final two songs make up for it. By far. Silent Suicide is another song the grabs you by the chest and pulls you in, with it’s deep lyrics you feel embraced and are destined to sing along. The powerful chorus is something to note as well, with a sensation we can all experience.

Albion Sky comes to a softer end with I Have lived, which too takes you in like a story. It’s simple guitar and vocals open the song in a beautiful manor, leading into what is actually a really emotional piece of music. It stirs inspiration and brings out the passion in people, following the previous eleven songs in the album in being a real eye-opener.

“When they bring the news that I was drinking champagne when I died,

And my sixth wife will tell the gathered crowds now please don’t cry you see,

My friend I have lived”

If anybody wants to try something new, and something that hasn’t hit the mainstream, then this is the album to buy. It offers a sense of real music and delivers and exceeds the biggest of expectations. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

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