MICK RALPHS That's Life - Can't Get Enough (Angel Air 2003)
This is Mick Ralph's third solo outing for Angel Air and like the last one this is a collection of recent "demos".
The quality is high, but I think these tracks should be treated exactly as that: "demos". In some ways they are sketches
and the consistent thread seems to be that Mick is very much in love with his wife so in a sense these
tracks are intensely personal "messages from home".
Musically, many fans will begrudge that Mick has no longer got the regular gig with Bad Company. Much of the stuff on this album is
frankly like previous-era Eric Clapton and therefore breaks no new ground. Mick's lyrical guitar is overshadowed by an emphasis on lyrics
Whilst this offering is a grower, what we all need is an album where Mick simply lets rip on the Les Paul as we know he undoubtedly can. Included here for voyeurs is a late-seventies unreleased Bad Company
track (the instrumental 'Budgie' ) and an earlier demo for 'Can't Get Enough' which makes this release nigh on essential for fans. Only on 'Ain't It Good?' do we get anything like the raunch and
rock, and Kossoff-esque wail, that is essentially Bad Co, everything else is nearer in spirit to Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter (with whom Mick toured in 2002). Title track "That's Life" also
introduces some much-needed contemporary stylings.
This is an interesting release but please, Mick, give us more in-your-face-guitar in the future!