As the frontman of Asking Alexandria, Danny Worsnop gets to showcase his harder edge, but there is a lot more to him, and his voice than that. Stepping out in 2015, he released a pretty straight forward (and pretty good!) rock album with We Are Harlot. Still not satisfied, he released the solo “outlaw country” album The Long Road Home in 2017, and in the same year, his return album with Asking Alexandria was released.
It’s safe to say he can do it all, and do it well, but never before has he showcased such vocal diversity as he does on his latest solo effort, Shades of Blue. It’s an eclectic mix of blues, country, soul, pop, rock and swing. And it works, due to the mans vocal abilities.
Little Did I Know falls into the blues category, mostly due to the guitar work. There are some very soulful vocals on display, for a decent listen. It’s poppy at the same time, and should find a home on radio.
Best Bad Habbit introduces the swing elements. It’s a totally different style, with brass and all. Much like this entire album, this song hinges on the vocal performance, and it’s hard to argue that Worsnop has a powerful voice, very much suited to this crooning style.
Tomorrow, is country through and through. Keep on Lovin’ is a soul track, and a possible highlight on Shades of Blue, Am I A Fool returns to country stylings for a surprisingly good song, while I’ve Been Down is completely stripped back to just the voice and some simplistic acoustic guitar. It’s very much a vocal album, and that’s never more evident than here.
So his voice is great, but that’s only part of the battle. A great voice needs great songs, and I’d say that his song writing skills are exceptional. Worsnop is a gifted storyteller, who isn’t afraid to get personal.
Edge of Goodbye features guest vocals from Victoria Potter, in a country tinged ballad. On Heaven is A Long Way Down, Worsnop has a raspy delivery that works well with the harmonies of the backing singers. Tell Her I Said Hey wouldn’t be out of place on a Bryan Adams album, and At The Time is a bit country by numbers.
Ain’t Feeling Sorry brings back the blues, and a touch of funk to close the album out. It’s a murkier sound than the rest of Shades of Blue, and I like this a lot. It’s a great way to finish us off on a high note.
While most of this album is made up of styles that are not generally my preferred, it’s pretty good. The only negative for me, is that it feels like a collection of left overs from other projects with no real cohesion. I certainly can’t fault the vocal performance. Danny Worsnop has serious pipes!
Review by Shayne McGowan