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Music Review

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Promenade Blue


Artist: Nick Waterhouse
Label: Innovative Leisure
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 April 2021

Nick Waterhouse follows up the release of his self-titled 2019 album with, Promenade Blue, via Innovative Leisure. In Waterhouse's musical and lyrical world, the new album is a refraction of his life and memories - shadowing a deep, spiritual San Francisco that fostered his musical vocabulary but has now been stamped out irrevocably. The result is an album that draws on everything that Waterhouse has experienced and created across his eventful time as an artist over the last ten years...

From a technical point of view Promenade Blue is an interesting, nostalgic, romanticised snapshot of the past. Blurring the lines between rhythm & blues, soul, rock 'n' roll and jazz, Nick Waterhouse delivers something new that is so steeped in the past that it hits you like a speeding train.

The album has a mono mix (or it could be the subtlest stereo you've ever heard) and production values of a '50s / '60s album to help sell it as a retro LP. While this works well to produce that feeling, I also couldn't help ponder as to whether this was really a cheap trick. There are so many "borrowed" riffs and stylistic choices that it does feel like Waterhouse has cut and pasted from history to create his songs. And that is why I have mixed feelings about the end result.

It feels like a step out of time, like an alternative universe's album from the '50s / '60s. And while it's engaging, well produced and performed, I can't help thinking that it's an album that will be played for a few weeks and then completely forgotten about.


Nick Smithson

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