I have very mixed views about the music of Bill Nelson. He is ever prolific, often knocking out two or three albums a year. Unfortunately, I do not feel the quality control is everything it could and should be, so you get albums of varying quality.
Mr Nelsons work falls into three very broad spectrums. First off are his instrumental albums, which can be either boring ambient dirges or freaky guitar workouts, the latter of more merit in my opinion. He also makes albums of traditional pop-rock songs. This album falls squarely into that category and this is where I find his work at its most consistent. Then the third category, the broadest of all, is what I can only describe as his ‘other stuff’. This involves writing music that mixes different genres, sampling strange dialogue from god knows where, and sometimes ‘talking’ as opposed to ‘singing’ over the results. Here I find the results always interesting, but mixed with some outstanding tracks along side some stuff I know I might never play again. This album features sixteen tracks, all of which are songs, and I consider the quality quite high. Only one track disappoints me, ‘Angel In My System’, which has an annoying sequencer running through it and some prog-rock tendencies I could do without.
‘Blue Moons’ was originally written for a full band, (his ‘dream band’ Nelson calls it in the sleeve notes), that was to feature two drummers and four guitarists! However, record label politics, budgets etc stood in the way and Bill ended up releasing what are ostensibly demos, as a solo record. First off the sound quality is fine, you would be unlikely to guess these were demos were it not for the fact the sleeve notes tell you so. Secondly, this really is a solo album; Bill plays everything bass, drums, keyboards guitars, the lot. Considering how good this is it’s a shame the original vision of getting a band together never happened, it most likely would have sounded exceptional.
The variety of music here is not as broad as on some of Bill’s other releases. As mentioned earlier this is firmly in the pop-rock arena with a mixture of mid and up tempo songs. The lyrics on some tracks speak of devil worship (‘God Man Slain’) or Science Fiction (‘Girl From Another Planet’) amongst other things. The CD sleeve features references to witchcraft and sorcery but this is no Goth or Heavy Metal release. When Bill does his pop-rock thing, which is not often enough in my opinion, one detects the sound of David Bowie. This album, for example, reminds me of his Scary Monsters era, which is doubtless why I like it so much. However, this is not necessarily imitation on Bills part. One must bear in mind they both grew up working class in nineteen fifties Britain. Rock & Roll, the Space Race, Science Fiction and an interest in Art influenced both. Doubtless there are other parallels that could be drawn, but if you like Bowie, odds are you’ll like this.
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