Bobby Seals,
Time Machine
(Cupit, 2002)

I had to recheck the insert on this CD as it was playing. I could have almost sworn I detected Roy Orbison on track one and then Jerry Lee Lewis was in my living room on the second. Seldom has an album been so well named. This is a musical time machine. It sounds just like living in the 1960s, but with better production.

"Who's Gonna Play Piano" is a tribute to Jerry Lee and you could almost swear he was at least playing the piano. The lyrics are a mini-history lesson in the greats of a bygone era. "Time Machine" is an old-fashioned "doo wop" song that sounds absolutely on the button. It is amazing how Seals recreates not just the sounds but also the very soul of a music and an era.

"All the Way" is a fantastic piece of writing and performing with a mellow voice and beautiful backing in music and vocals. Given a fair hearing on any radio station this has the potential to seduce a new generation to an earlier musical style.

Here is a collection of songs that can transport us. There are love songs of a type seldom written anymore. Other potential hits are "Love Makes the World Go Round" and "The Only Time I See You."

My favourite track has to be "Fountain of Youth," although a song that could also have been a title track comes a close second; it is "Songs We Fell in Love To." This track opening with the saxophone could be an anthem for a generation. Written by Seals, it shows a true grasp of the songwriting craft and a genuine feel for the golden music of the true rock 'n' roll era. His references to the boardwalk and up on the roof will rekindle memories as will "earth angel" and "head on my shoulder." If you remember these lines you are older than I am, Gunga Din.

This CD is dedicated to those giants of music a few decades ago but it is a CD for 2003 -- for anyone who likes good music and lyrics that have meaning. This is part of a musical heritage.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 20 December 2003

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