Martin Turner -
Written In The Stars

(CD 2015, 51:41, Dirty Dog Discs DDD CD007)

The tracks:
  1- The Big Bang (Overture)(1:06)
  2- The Beauty Of Chaos(3:35)
  3- Written In The Stars(4:33)
  4- Lovers(4:38)
  5- Vapour Trail(5:53)
  6- The Lonely Star(4:06)
  7- For My Lady(4:23)
  8- Pretty Little Girls(5:00)
  9- Falling Sands(5:18)
10- Mystify Me(5:20)
11- Interstellar Rockstar(7:46)

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I guess the name Martin Turner will always be connected to the band Wishbone Ash; being lead vocalist and bass player as well as songwriter for the most appreciated albums of this British band; Agrus, Pilgimage and There's The Rub. In the last couple of years, Martin Turner has been touring playing the classic works of Wishbone Ash and during this tour the foundation of a new album was made. His touring band who all contributed to the compositions consists of guitar players Danny Wilson and Misha Nikolic and drummer Tim Brown. As usual Martin took care of the bass and lead vocals. Written In The Stars is recorded with this line-up that will continuing touring together.

Written In The Stars takes you back to the early seventies, when it comes to the musical vibe of the album. Most of the songs are recognizable for their melodic qualities, combined with trademark twin-lead guitars and vocal harmonies. So are the songs The Beauty Of Chaos and the following Written In The Stars, songs that perfectly fit in the picture that was painted four decades ago. It's very pleasant to listen to, highlighting the bass sound that was missed after Martin's departure from Wishbone Ash. A song that I really have my doubts about is the Lovers; a poppy seventies song with Shadows style guitar parts and vocals that are just lame. During this song you can notice something that is representative for the whole album; something that is just logical, for Mr. Turner has been using his voice a very long time; it's been worn down and only due to the vocals harmonies do the vocals sound acceptable. Nevertheless the remaining compositions are like the first two I mentioned, filled with great sounding twin guitars and a wonderful bass that has been placed to the front of the mix, so you really can enjoy the sound of the old Wishbone Ash. When it comes to the guitars, Written In The Stars sees fine soloing in a classic rock style, drenched in melodic blues and I guess these long instrumental parts are the absolute highlight for me as I just have to close my eyes and I will be taken back to my old bedroom listening to Wishbone Ash's Live Dates.

Martin Turner has delivered a great album that takes you back in time, although his voice has aged, his compositions still hold on to the prime time of his major band. Written In The Stars is a fine classic rock album and like a lot of those classic albums there is always one or two tunes present that just don't work for me. If you are a classic rock aficionado, give this one a chance, just for the good old times.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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