Believe it or not, it has been 14 whole years since Gary Hughes’ last solo offering. In the meantime, the most prolific artist has managed to fill the gap with many releases by his band Ten thus I am certain that nobody really took notice of this long time period between his solo albums. There is also another, more important reason for it. Gary Hughes has a very specific style of composing which makes all the albums that he’s working on almost identical…and I mean it in a good way, as quality always prevails. “Waterside” is not an exception to this unwritten rule…
The ever familiar, “warm” voice of Gary really stands out in an album that is heavily based on mid-tempo songs (eg. “All At Once It Feels Like Believe”, “Screaming In The Halfflight”) clearly written with a piano as the basic instrument. Right from the opening notes, you don’t have the slightest doubt in regards with what you are listening as this is pure Gary Hughes who is firing in all cylinders. The British artist has established his own sound which combines the melodic rock genre with a touch of pomp elements in there for good measure. So, if you are a fan of Magnum, then I am sure Gary Hughes is really close to your favorite style of music. Apart from the aforementioned mid-tempo moments, there are a few up-tempo ones –like “Save My Soul” and “Seduce Me”- but the truth is that all the songs shine on “Waterside” as Gary Hughes is on top form. Credit should also go to his bandmates from Ten: Darrel Treexe-Birch and Dann Rosingana who guest on the album and they have done an awesome job on it.
All in all, “Waterside” is another excellent album by Gary Hughes that will not disappoint even his most reserved fan out there. Quality is the word that comes straight to your mind upon listening to “Waterside” and I guess that says it all…especially, in this time and age.
Highlight: In a 30+ career spanning, Hughes has released an almost equal in number albums with brand new material. Awesome or what…?