Confession: I’d not heard of Ian Hunter before this promo dropped onto my desk. Then I read the blurb and found that he’d fronted Mott The Hoople and gone on to a successful solo career afterwards. On the evidence of even a first listen to Fingers Crossed, I can see why. It’s quite simply wonderful.
Edged with blues and vibrant guitars this is a great collection of toe-tappers which still manage to maintain that 70’s feel. Hunter’s vocals are just the right kind of throaty and, especially during second track “Dandy” – dedicated to and about David Bowie – there’s definitely a memory of “Roll Away The Stone” present. Bowie produced Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes album and this song is a wonderful way of paying tribute.
All of the tracks have some kind of story or meaning. “Morpheus” tells of the Greek god who could mimic humans and shape their dreams. “Bow Street Runners” is historical, about the first police force. “Ghosts” harks back to Hunter being invited to jam in the legendary Sun Studios, Memphis. Each song takes these ideas and wraps them up in the perfect musical coating.
The whole album is uplifting and dreamy. The backing vocals accompanying Hunter’s help carry him, not smother. Tunes vary from the ethereal “Memphis” to “You Can’t Live in the Past” with its mild reggae influence; the rocking “White House” to the heartbreaking title track.
Even though it’s a new release, it brings back memories of sitting on one of the big comfy chairs in the house I grew up in, listening to albums from my dad’s vinyl collection through big earphones. If you’re looking for an album to relax to, then I can’t recommend Fingers Crossed highly enough.