By Zombieboy - The Almighty Riff - 03/15/2005

Glenn Hughes has long held the nickname of the “voice of rock”, and for good reason. From Deep Purple to Black Sabbath, the man has worked with countless trailblazers in the genre and has helped forge the sound of hard rock for over 30 years. So when Hughes releases a new effort, the expectations are monumentally high, and with Soul Mover, he proves that he is more than up to the task. The strength of Soul Mover lies not only in Hughes’ soulful and always powerful vocals, but in the way he has seamlessly melded a vast array of styles and influences into a varied, fresh and immensely satisfying package. From the bongos on the groove-laden “She Moves Ghostly”, the Motown-meets-arena-rock anthem “Isolation”, and the incredibly funky vibes of “Dark Star” and “Orion”, nearly everything on this album hits the listener with truly unexpected musical treats and ideas that may not sound great on paper, but have nonetheless morphed into a truly refreshing slant on hard rock. That being said, there’s still enough straight-up heaviness to keep even the most sceptical rocker interested, as the title track, “High Road” and “Miss Little Insane” recall Hughes’ heavier moments in Deep Purple. Soul Mover does feel a few tracks too long, and some of the lead guitar work is a little forgettable but overall, adventurous hard rockers can’t go wrong with what has quickly become one of my favourite releases of the year.

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