Connor Selby – Made Up My Mind
3Ms Music – 2018
8 tracks; 39 minutes
Connor Selby is a twenty year-old guitarist/vocalist from Essex, England, and this is his debut album. Connor handles all vocals and lead guitar, with Andy Corby on bass, Rob Shearer on drums, Robbie Noble on keys and Jon Getty on rhythm guitar. Connor wrote all eight songs here, two in collaboration with Andy. Connor’s vocals are surprisingly mature for such a young guy and his guitar playing brings memories of Dominos era Clapton (which is quite a compliment!). The playing mostly avoids the usual blues-rock trap of over-playing, making the disc a pleasant listen.
The title track opens proceedings with a throbbing bass line and light and airy keys over which the two guitars mesh well, Connor pulling out a striking solo towards the end. The lyrics deal with the usual issues of unrequited love and moving on from a relationship whereas “This Old World” details doom and gloom over a funky blues tune. “Help Me” has similarly dark lyrics about feeling desperate, begging for help, a tune with great keyboard work that lifts the chorus and a middle section with a touch of Prog Rock about it before Connor emerges to take another fleet-fingered solo. The pace drops for the soulful ballad “Tired Of Wasting My Time” with excellent electric piano, organ and subtle guitar fills, a fine tune with better than average lyrics.
A fast-paced rocker follows as Connor is determined to “See It Through” before he declares “You Hurt Me” – clearly his early love life has not been altogether smooth running. This was the pick of the album for this reviewer, another slower song with lyrics full of angst set against a good bass groove and Connor’s neat fills which give way to an excellent, restrained solo later in the track. “That’s Alright” begins well with Connor prominent from the start on another slower song in which he expresses his frustration at having wasted time “sitting idly by”. The bass is again a powerful influence on the pace of the song which also adds plenty of organ behind Connor’s solo which just about avoids falling into shredding at the end of the track. “Sure As The Sunrise” is the final track on this shortish album, another soulful ballad that progresses steadily for over four minutes before Connor embarks on an extended solo that does get a little over-indulgent.
It will be interesting to see where Connor goes from this promising debut. In the UK the siren call of loud blues-rock shredding is never far away but Connor has a smooth voice that suits more soulful material and, one suspects, a record collection that includes quite a lot of great soul music as well as blues and rock. He seems to have plenty of choices and I hope that he makes the right ones.