Google Tag

Thursday 27 April 2023

Joe Normal - Public Works


Although cutting his teeth in the Glam Pop of The Zeros, I first came into contact with Joe Normal as Joe Hutchinson and the band, Hutch. The internet was taking off and it was a lot easier to get in touch with new friends, labels and artists.

I loved Hutch and took that love into the early days of Anything Should Happen where the Turn It Around album was a massive favourite of the community. It is to massive credit to Joe that he is still making great music decades on.

These days, he is a great Blue Collar Singer Songwriter, not a million miles away from my hero, Ian Hunter, who coincidentally has a new album out too. His songs are very much about his town and community which once stood tall, but now are almost devastated by neglect. My hometown suffers from exactly the same problems.

There is a real maturity in his songwriting and that allows him to hit his targets with ease. Equally at ease with a song as upbeat as Summer Jobs and as downbeat as the Dylan-esque style of I Ain't No. He can also throw up curve balls such as the sheer romantic feel of New England Girl which is probably the best Ian Hunter song that he didn't write.

Living In The Borough has a real "all together now" chorus, a great Acoustic Street song. Warinanco Pond is even great Piano Pop in the style of someone like John Howard. Ya Gotta Open Your Heart is real 70s Pop Rock joy, a ballad with a catch all chorus.

Small Town Factory has a real jangle to it, but all roads lead to The Unsung Heroes That Time Never Knew, a little Springsteen, but a melancholic moody affair, much further down compared to the rest of this album.

Public Works is a triumph. It is hard to believer that Normal is a one man band as this is such a joined up affair. Lyrically deep, beautifully played, it celebrates and regrets without ever preaching or appearing pessimistic. There is always hope and this album thrives on that. It is the sort of Classic album that we forget used to exist and still does proudly.

You can listen to and buy it here.


No comments:

Post a Comment