David McAlmont's solo debut album is, in fact, a lightly revised and reworked version of an album previously scheduled for release by Thieves, the guitar and vocal duo he formed with Saul Freeman in 1992, and whose "Unworthy" single was a club hit in fall 1993. "Unworthy" reappears here, together with "Either," the duo's scheduled (but unissued) follow-up single, and much of McAlmont does indeed echo the majestic interplay that was Thieves' calling card. The renewed emphasis on McAlmont's sensational vocal, however, is its strongest point -- blessed with a three-plus octave range, and utilizing every last note at his disposal, McAlmont's broad grasp of classic soul stylings soars far above anything one might expect from an all but unknown soloist, to ache with the confidence and clarity of a virtual diva. "Misunderstood," "Conversation," and the delightfully wry "My Grey Boy" -- an early version of the anthem that appeared on 1995's Saturday (Gay Pride) EP -- are the highlights, but almost any track can be considered representative of the young McAlmont's abilities. Compared to his later collaborations with Bernard Butler and David Arnold, McAlmont is very much a formative effort, a showcase for the voice, not the identity, that listeners would so soon come to love. But the weak reception it was granted upon release seems unjust nevertheless.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson