Now more so than ever, don’t we all want to go to the land of Shangri-La? It seems as if Young Gun Silver Fox have come up with the perfect soundtrack for the trip. Andy Platts (Mamas Gun) and Shawn Lee are back with their fourth studio album, to be released this Friday on Légère Recordings. They continue with their ebullient AOR/Blue Eyed Soul sounds reminiscent of the best work of Hall & Oates or, say, the Doobie Brothers. Andy’s signature high-pitched vocals are there right from the start on the album opener “Still Got It Goin’ On”, with the backing vocals actually reminding me of the last Mamas Gun album.
First single “West Side Jet” is still having a big impact, with its irresistible hook and uptempo groovy soul stance. There is a very serious soul/funk groove on “Tip Of The Flame”, harking back to some late 70s/early 80s classic stuff. More 80s soul, combined with some West Coast AM pop radio tunes, make up for one of my album favorites: on “Rolling Back”, Andy and Shawn come up with the most brilliant pop tune written in ages. The melody and groove just gel perfectly; the production work is flawless. Great stuff which almost beats their still fantastic “Mojo Rising” from their second album “AM Waves” (2018).
There is also some wonderful slower material on here, such as the poignant and pretty effective “Simple Imagination” or the stirring “Sierra Nights”, taking you back to some late 60s/early 70s atmospheric, almost psychedelic folk-pop tunes, with superb harmony vocals and another lush production. And “Lodestar” has me thinking about “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. It’s that good. Another winner is the blue-eyed soul dream “Winners” (pardon the pun), which simply and gently floats along. Love those vocals. Things get a little more dramatic on “Starting Wars” and the album closer, the brassy “Freak Flag”, confirms the fact that “Ticket To Shangri-La” is actually their best album to date.
Shows confirmed so far:
12/10 Zwolle – Hedon
12/11 Amsterdam – Paradiso
01/20 London – Lafayette
01/26 Birmingham – Hare and Hounds
01/27 Manchester – The Bread Shed
01/28 Glasgow – Audio