Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
The talent is undeniable on Passport. There is good and then there is clearly great. This falls in the latter category. It is evident that the playing, writing, and singing is a cut above the rest of the pack. Not just that, but the production and mixing are as close to perfect as it gets. These are things that are easy to overlook, but on Passport everything is mixed and produced so superbly, it turns all of the individual parts into a single entity.
A little Motown, a little country, and some swamp rock are splashed together in perfect proportions. The chemistry of the players is also clear as day. Again, these elements can easily be missed, except in this instance they are so good, they make one take notice. Did I mention swamp rock? Well if you are a fan, you will truly adore Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing (Track 3). There is a couple of twists in this number where it morphs into a bluesy guitar ballad for a little bit, but then settles back into a soulful swampy romp. The song is about cheating and messing up a “good thing”.
If soul and R&B is your thing, you will certainly enjoy The Bad Side Of Something Beautiful (Track 7). A very heartfelt number about when a relationship is on the rocks. Poley and Howard write about the bittersweet emotions involved in a breakup. They write in a very smart way and evoke tons of emotion. It is hard to tell where they stand on the issue, in fact they may feel that the good is worth the bad. I suppose that is a personal choice, but an interesting take nonetheless.
Night Terrors (Track 9) is a jazzy instrumental number that clearly displays the talent of the musicians. It is an extremely catchy tune that has many twists and turns and is a little bit country and a little boogie woogie. The talent of all the players on this tune is indisputable as they flawlessly navigate through all of the progressions with the precision of a diamond cutter.
The Scott Poley Project makes me think of one thing, professionalism. These guys are truly pros, but they still are loose enough to make the music fun and unpretentious. It just so happens that they are from this English town called Liverpool. For some reason that towns name rings a bell, not sure why.