In the mid-‘90s, Reef were a major player in the UK rock scene; between 1995-2000 they released four seriously kick-ass albums that helped shape the British rock scene of that decade. Jukeboxes all over the country were not complete unless they contained a copy of Glow, an album which went to number 1 on the UK album charts in its first week of release. It has now been 18 years since Reef’s last studio album Getaway, and the question on all Brit’s lips as they press play on Revelation is, “was it worth the wait”?
Opening up is the title track, a pop-rock number that reminds the listener why they liked Reef in the first place – simple guitar riffs, basic drum beats and Gary Stringer’s raspy vocals; ah pure nostalgia! Other songs in this classic vein include “Don’t Go Changing Your Mind” and “Precious Metal”. However, with “Ball and Chain” there is a hint of Reef offering something more. While maintaining the pop-rock feel, the track also hits upon a touch of grunge, so much so in fact, it could be mistaken for an Alice in Chains tune.
Reef use this album to showcase their immensely diversified sound, and the results are spectacular. “My Sweet Love” gives off a country duet feel whilst still maintaining Reef’s UK ‘90s rock persona. It features guest vocalist Sheryl Crow bouncing lyrics back and forth with Stringer, telling a story of love. It’s surprisingly catchy, so much so, I have found myself singing along on multiple occasions. Revelation also contains songs that draw on a gospel style like “How I Got Over” and “Like a Ship (Without a Sail)”. Both tunes are accompanied by a chorus of backing vocals you might expect to hear on a James Brown album. For a band known for simplicity, including this much diversity is a brave move, but they pull it off with aplomb.
Here’s Reef’s video for “My Sweet Love”. Wow, Sheryl Crow looks so young – what’s her secret!
So, was it worth the wait? You bet your ass it was! Every generation has a favourite decade of music, and, for most people of my age, that decade was the ‘90s. Hearing Revelation brought me back to a simpler time, a time before I had to worry about this thing called “adulting”. More and more bands that disappeared in the ‘90s are, once again, starting to reemerge. If they maintain the quality seen with Reef, then let’s keep this going, shall we?
Revelation Track Listing:
02. My Sweet Love (feat. Sheryl Crow)
04. How I Got Over
05. Don’t Go Changing Your Mind
06. Precious Metal
07. Just Feel the Love
08. Ball and Chain
09. First Mistake
10. Oh Darling Come Home Soon
11. Lone Rider
12. Like a Ship (Without a Sail)
Run Time: 49:08
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Record Label: earMUSIC