Nowadays, it seems that the focus of a band tends to be put on its vocals. Whether it be because of their voice or their lyrics, most everyone can name the lead singer of the bands they listen to. It takes a true fan, or someone who is truly passionate about music, to recognize that the band’s other members are just as important. Welsh artist Phillip Foxley proves the true worth of a good guitarist in his debut album, I’ll Try ’till I Die.
The album opens up with a blues track, “Demon Lover”, that immediately caught my attention. Later on in the album, though, the same track reappears, featuring vocals by O!K!Team. Although it is catchy, it lacks something before the vocals are introduced. The vocals, accompanied with the guitar in this song, are soothing and sultry, leaving you wanting these two to collaborate again. Unfortunately, their collaboration on “Seize the Day” is less successful. Though the vocals were just as beautiful, the song felt monotonous apart from its impressively quick guitar.
The next song on the album, “Hey You”, was a little more uplifting. Though primarily a blues song, it seems to have some influence of country rock, reminiscent of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’s guitar sound.
The third song, and all the others on the album whose lyrics were not sung by O!K!Team, had a steady drum beat, impressive guitar riffs, but very mediocre vocals. In fact, if the guitar wasn’t so good, the songs would be downright impossible to listen to because of the vocals. Always keeping a steady and simple drumbeat throughout the album put a welcomed focus on the sound of the guitar, which was incredibly well-executed. The mix of sounds in a few of the songs mid-album show off Foxley’s film score background, as they practically project images as they are played.
The drumbeat on the final track was a tad too similar to those of the other tracks, but the change in the rhythm of the guitar almost salvages the effort. It was a weak end to the album overall.
This album is only for those who love the blues genre with a slight twist, and enjoy listening to guitar. Anyone listening to the album must also be capable of ignoring the singing on most of the tracks, or should probably just skip those tracks altogether.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca