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CHRIS NORMAN ‘Handmade ’
(Sanctuary SANCD229) (2004)

Chris Norman was a founding member of Smokie who had string of hit albums and singles throughout the 70’s. He left the band in the 80’s to start a solo career and this is his sixteenth solo recording.

Chris Norman has vocal style not unlike Southside Johnny or Tom Petty, with many songs in a good time rock ‘n’ roll vibe like opener ‘Keep Talking’ with its catchy chorus and tasty Hammond fills. ‘It’s Crazy’ wouldn’t look out of place on a Traveling Wilburys record! A pleasant number driven along by guitars and harmony vocals. Norman also handles the slower, sparer numbers with aplomb like ‘She Forgot’. One of the highlights has to be ‘The Caravan Moves On’ which you could imagine Ronnie Lane having enjoyed singing. A breezy, 70’s acoustic styled number and a damn fine tune! Only a couple of tunes fail to hit the mark and I am afraid the funky ‘Let’s Do It’ just passes me by!

Good, quality tunes and well played musically - well worth a listen, particularly fans of Tom Petty, Southside Johnny and the Hooters plus obviously a must for established fans.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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