William Topley comes from England but is based in America these days. William
was the Frontman to rock band "The Blessing". "Feasting With Panthers" is his fourth
album released under his own name. The Album comprises of 12 songs all written by
William and helped by various other co-writers. It is hard to pin point William's style as
he sounds like at least a half a dozen singers but to me he is very reminiscent of John
Hiatt and Van Morrison with touches of Tom Waits.
The album starts with a blues wailing harp and a good steady beat on "Back To Believing".
"Magnolia" is a Southern Rock effort extolling the delight's of the French Quarter in New Orleans, and is spoilt by the unnecessary girlie wailing chorus, apart from that it has a nice southern feel.
"Excuses" is my favourite on the album, it is a slow ska/reggae groove which oozes class and it really gets under your skin.
"La Habana" is another quality song with William almost sounding like Van Morrison as he lands in Cuba with his observations of life there, the song also benefits from some great atmospheric saxophone playing from "Simeon Jones".
"Drake's Train" is a mid pace burner with some good bass playing from
James Eller, but it is Luke Brightly who shines with some very melodic guitar on this song.
"Los Largos" starts off with a Spanish Dialogue and builds into a lush well crafted song with the Spanish Dialogue returning as a backdrop as the whole thing develops into a gorgeous finale. The start of "So Bright" sees William sounding exactly like Van Morrison on a song that could easily been on a Van album, a nice mid-tempo paced tale of a woman's beauty.
"Highway One" brings to a close this roots/blues/rock songbook of an album, and
is very reminiscent of a John Hiatt type song.
The album is a good collection of songs which are well put together and are waiting to be
plucked by other singers who might take them to higher things. The main minus point of
the album, is that William sounds to close other singers and has to a point, copied their
style, I feel, which is a pity as the album has soon terrific moments. I am sure that William's own style will evolve soon, he is defiantly an artist to watch in the future.
William Topley has a website at www.williamtopley.com
Lost Highway Records: www.losthighwayrecords.com
Simply click on the CD cover at left to order this CD NOW!
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