Liam Bailey

Definitely Now

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

A long time in the works, Liam Bailey's debut album Definitely Now finally appeared in the late summer of 2014. This was some three years later than initially planned. He was supposed to have a record out on Polydor in 2011 but it was pulled at the last minute, only to resurface three years later on Flying Buddha/Sony. Like its scrapped predecessors, Definitely Now was produced by Salaam Remi -- a producer known for his work with Amy Winehouse, who initially signed Bailey to her Lioness Records in 2010 -- so it's possible that some of the older record exists here, as it does at times contain that groovy retro-soul feel ("Black Moon"), pricked with a heavy dose of spiky guitars. At times, Bailey's guitar is cranked up so it's reminiscent of such neo-blues rockers as the Black Keys -- this is especially true of "Breaking" and "Villain," whose Hendrixian stomp also recalls Lenny Kravitz -- but he'll also ease into a little bit of dreamy smooth soul, blissed-out reggae, a swaying '50s 12-bar ballad and a little bit of folk. Although this cavalcade of styles is impressive, there's also a sense that Bailey isn't quite sure how to tie it all together, an impression that deepens as this very long album reaches its conclusion on the 16th song. So, treat Definitely Now as a sampler by a skilled songwriter, singer, and guitarist: individual tracks show boundless potential even when the sum of the parts don't quite add up.

blue highlight denotes track pick