TONY LEWIS (The Outfield) – Out Of The Darkness (2018)
TONY LEWIS is probably best known as the voice and bassist for The Outfield. Along with guitarist John Spinks, the two took the ’80s by storm with their infectious songs including “Your Love,” “All the Love,” and “Say it isn’t So.” After Spinks’s untimely passing in 2014, Tony took a four-year hiatus from music but was eventually inspired to begin work on his first ever solo album: “Out of the Darkness“.
“Out of the Darkness” takes on the spirit of The Outfield, while letting Tony’s own style shine through. Tony plays all the instruments, as well as producing and recording everything on his own.
Who was not smitten by the hook-filled glory of Power Pop — the style of music that may be regarded as a hybrid of New Wave, Pop Rock, and Glam Metal? One of the bands that waved the flag of this genre in the illustrious decade of the 1980s was The Outfield, whose chart-topping classic singles remain favorites on Rock-formatted retrospective radio stations as well as on the record players of many ’80s music aficionados.
Well… Tony Lewis did it here… “Out of the Darkness” sounds more ‘The Outfield’ than The Outfield last studio album.
This is pure ’80s stuff. And I love it.
Right out of the gate, “Into the Light” whomped me with the patented Outfield muted power chords, and that voice, belting out an instant ear-worm melody. Before I could recover from the amazing verse/chorus sequence the song heads into a perfect counterpunch middle eight which serves to give the final chorus even more emotional impact.
Tony follows up with two more songs in a similar vein, instantly catchy, but deceptively clever in their construction. As “Only You” starts its early chorus over another muted power chord sequence, I began to worry that the approach was going to start to wear thin. But the song is so good, with another great bridge and a deft use of chords that would make a young George Harrison blush, my concern was quickly washed away.
It turns out that I needn’t have worried at all as Tony was about about to flex his new found songwriting chops into new areas.
“The Dance of Love” slows things down a bit, with a haunting melody and vocal line, while “I’ll Still Be Here” proves that Tony Lewis can just plain rawk.
“Loving You” is perhaps the album’s centerpiece. A ballad featuring emotionally powerful vocals with that classy ’80s production reverb.
The relentless onlaught of world class songwriting continues with back to back Power Pop gems, “Melt the Ice”, “Thank You (For Breaking My Heart)” and the sweet “Dreams and Wishes”.
Closing out the album are two very strong songs that each could serve as a great album finisher. “Think That You Know Me” begins with a pulsing keyboard intro followed by Tony’s now trademark chiming guitar as he might as well be saying, ‘Thought that you knew me until you heard this record’.
Finally, after twelve tracks of shimmering Popcraft, Tony leaves us, for now, with the gentle and beautiful acoustic ballad, “I Know”, which completes his ascendance as an elite songwriter.
Unexpected to me to listen again The Outfield-related new music, Tony Lewis’s solo debut album “Out Of The Darkness” is a pure delight. True Eighties melodic stuff with the sound / feel of that era perfectly nailed by Lewis.
This album will instantly appeal you – ’80s fan – with plenty of ear catching melodies and dynamic musical changes, its joyful production sound and its feel-good vibe.
Keep ’em coming Tony; Very, HIGHLY Recommended
01 – Into the Light
02 – Here and Now
03 – Only You
04 – Dance of Love
05 – All Alone
06 – I’ll Still Be Here
07 – Loving You
08 – Melt the Ice
09 – Dreams and Wishes
10 – You Think That You Know Me
11 – Thank You (For Breaking My Heart)
12 – I Know
Tony Lewis – vocals, all instruments
BUY IT !