Liam Bailey – Please Love Me / On My Mind
(originally written for LeftLion magazine)
A year on from splitting with Polydor, Liam Bailey’s re-emergence as a solo artist continues in fine fashion with this, his sixth – and arguably his best – release. Released by New York’s Truth & Soul label, these two tracks adhere to the label’s in-house style, inspired as they are by vintage soul traditions – but more importantly, the deft, sympathetic arrangements offer the best fit to date for Liam’s strong vocal personality. On Please Love Me, the singer sighs and swoons in falsetto over a simple template – choppy Stax guitar on the left, twangy country guitar on the right, snappily bouncing bassline in the centre – before strings and brass make their entrance. Meanwhile, the flipside re-visits an EP track from last year, re-casting it as a strutting, swaggering, almost menacing Southern blues shuffle. If this is how the album’s going to sound, then we’re in for a treat.