Monday, 9 February 2009

Conner Reeves - Joy / As Love Is My Witness

I have always held Conner Reeves in the highest respect. A very talented man with more soul than most, it is on this release where I feel my warmest toward him. The man has given us plenty of real soulful moments over the years and for my money this rates as his best performance yet. The basis for most of Conner's work has been his love of classic soul, and the current that flows beneath this clanking 'now sound' beat is very Motown a la Junior Walker. The dreamy keys and the superbly honed and melodious backing harmonies are nothing short of perfect. The title, “Joy”, is very well prescribed – the feeling one gets from this little ditty is such warmth and a feeling of being in the presence of one of England's premier soul recording artists. In short, “Joy” is my undisputed hit of the festive season; as essential as mulled wine, Father Christmas and Mistletoe.
The B-Side is a more downtempo number and opens with some poignant Norman Whitfield type strings. The Hammond Organ, also prominent, is not my favourite instrument and I have to feel that this song pales in comparison to the Monster on the flip side of this single. The fact is, as a song, it is a sure-fire radio hit and would appeal to many who would have cheerfully bought the latest Beverly Knight CD, or even Amy Winehouse. For me, “Joy” is a masterpiece and I for one love it to pieces. Also available on iTunes for download as well as a special collectors' 7” single.

Barry Towler