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Sunday, September 11, 2011
Status Quo – Quid Pro Quo album review
Status Quo – Quid Pro Quo album review
Released through: earMusic / Eagle. Release date: Available now
What can be said about Status Quo that’s not been said before? The mixed response in the UK where the band has always been loved and loathed in even quantities it seems, for their twelve bar songwriting wizardry. The thing is however, no one can argue with the simple fact that in the UK, Status Quo have had more hit singles than any other band and yes, that includes The Beatles and the Rolling Stones! Enough said?!
The band sadly though, has failed to ever really break the US market and gain any real fan base over here and as I said with their last album ‘In Search of the Fourth Chord’ – Their own play on words of how they are so often ridiculed for being three chord wonders! – I can only hope this changes things!
‘Two Way Traffic’ opens the album in a classic return to their original sound, think ‘Rain,’‘Caroline,’ etc, in general although there’s a couple of moments where you might think there are more popular touches to the song in the choruses ala E.L.O., obviously heavier than that but, you’ll get my drift when you hear it, anyway it still works for me.
The cheesy keyboard sound that Quo often favour introduces ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You’ with a slight tap on a shaker or hi-hat, before the twelve bar format kicks in and it still in trad Quo format and plenty of rock and roll piano is present throughout the track otherwise.
‘Dust To Gold’ up next starts with just a guitar riff, then it’s joined by a vocal for a couple of bars before the band joins in proper and while it’s not straight twelve bar, it’s certainly got the underlying Quo sound. Actually at the pre-chorus, the backing organ and rest of the band, sound at times here reminiscent of something off a UFO’s recent albums but with (Francis)Rossi’s distinctive tone, its Quo, but with a more thoughtful track. Good one chaps!
Time for Rick Parfitt to add his ‘quota’ (sic) to the latest Quo album with ‘Let’s Rock’ which again has more of the classic Parfitt rocking Quo sound about it. Poor old Rick often sounded like he was straining little and I wondered if he sounded like he was straining anymore than usual and he’s really not, that’s just his style!
‘Can’t See For Looking’ has perhaps the more modern Quo sound to it, with a more shared lead vocal with Rossi taking slightly more of the lead vocal, but it’s without doubt the two of them. It’s a steady enough number, but the song so far that least kind of grabs me.
Perhaps with one of those slight tongue in cheek type Quo songs, ‘Better than That’ is next, which has a blend of classic meets modern Quo about it and long timeQuo fans should know what I mean by that.
‘Movin’ On’ is a ‘Rossi / Young’ composition that again harks back to the old days in general when these two would often be responsible for say about half a Quo album and should keep Quo fans happy.
Wow! With the opening riff to ‘Leave a Little Light On’ I almost thought Quo were doing an interpretation of UFO’s ‘Too Hot To Handle!’ – Am I the only one hearing that at the start? It’s a Parfitt sung track written in his true rock ‘n’ roller style.
‘Any Way You Like It’ is a ‘(Andy) Bown, (Rhino) Edwards, Crook’ composition handled by Rossi, and remains on track to keep up the same classic Quo standard. Put simply it works well.
Next up is a ‘Rossi / Bown’ track ‘Frozen Hero’ that has a riff come lead break that is repeated from time to time and I really like this one, as it’s got something a little to it and then a pretty tasty, if short guitar solo.
‘Reality Cheque’ is another song in true Quo form, that has moments that bring to mind ‘Whatever You Want,’ but from the lyrics it’s clearly another fun tune for the guys.
I think ‘The Winner’ could strike lucky as a hit single to me, it’s got something about it, with a much more commercial, pop rock chorus to it and yet it still fits in well here.
‘It’s All About You,’ again sounds true to the old Quo sound, and almost starting like ‘Rain’ and they manage to squeeze another nice solo again, that is way too short?! What’s the deal with that, I don’t get it, but since the song clocks in at just less than three minutes, it answers a lot!
For ‘My Old Ways’ it’s almost ‘Whatever You Want’ and a tongue in cheek lyric again and yes, another one of those far too short very good solos. You’re just getting into the solo and it’s done!
Final track here is surprisingly the 2010 re-recording of the band number one single ‘In The Army Now’ re-recorded as a charity single for the British ex-forces charities ‘Help for Heroes’ and ‘British Forces Foundation,’which still sounds good.
Yes, I know what a lot of people here are thinking, 'he keeps saying a return to that classic Quo sound' again and again and it's true, I even sound like 'I'M' repeating myself but it's Status Quo and yes, it's that same old twelve bar boogie that Quo have made their name on that I'm referring to here, which of course is what Quo is all about.
Overall, Quo fans will be very happy I’m sure, no disappointment, no scary returns to some of that dodgy mid-eighties stuff, it’s a return to form, as was last album ‘Fourth Chord.’ I’m a happy Quo fan!