Ali Handal “That’s What She Said” (Red Parlour Records, 2017)

Ali Handal positions her herself as a Sheryl Crow with more sass and sharper guitar skills, and she’s not far short of the mark on the evidence of this album of self-penned tunes (except two – one an Ani DiFranco and the other…. well more of that later). The album kicks off with the template – driving southern funky MOR rock. There is a likeable jauntiness to tracks such as ‘Smoke More Pot’ with its double-tracked vocals, a trick that is also employed to beef up ‘The World Don’t Owe You a Thing’.

And so it goes all Hammond organ, snappy drums , big choruses, sharp vocals and very well produced highway soft rock without a heart. And here’s the problem. There is evident talent here but the game plan appears to be about creating a full package of non-challenging material along with an eminently marketable commodity.

And the second cover – “What is and What Should Never Be” which is a Led Zeppelin standard and should never be covered in such a bland way. This reviewer is all for tackling sacred cows but despite making a good fist of parts of the song the whole does not work.

If you like Sheryl Crow as her PR states you will love Ali Handal. Me, I prefer Lissie but I’ve always been difficult. Give this a listen and make your own mind up. It certainly has some great moments.

Author: Keith Hargreaves

Riding the one eyed horse into dead town the scales fell from his eyes. Music was the only true god at once profane and divine The dust blew through his mind as he considered the offering... And then he scored it out of ten and waited for the world to wake up

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