Joe Hicks - The Best I Could Do At The Time 

Release Date: 23rd September 2022

Joe Hicks lets the songs do the talking. That's the strapline of this review but, more importantly, its the truth that makes this album so good so hang on to that as I give you a guided tour of 'The Best I Could Do At The Time'. The album opens up with 'Sail Away', a song which stomps and bounces in with the confidence of a well established artist ready to win the crowd over and get them jumping and clapping in time before the first chorus even drops. 'One More Step' continues the radio friendly and massively hooky theme with a snapping bass and the kind of slick guitar playing you'd expect to come from a US band on heavy rotation. 

'Maybe When It's Over' has a more subdued feel that will get you thinking of friends lost along the way while 'Pieces' goes to a more intimate and folky place that reminds me of Jake Morley at his most tender. There's a brilliantly poppy and reggae infused vibe to 'Lost In Love' and former single 'Mirror Mirror' still remains one of the best indie-pop songs I've heard in a very long time (probably the best ever about the fear of aging). There's a Paul Simon theme to 'Out Of My Mind' which shows off Hicks' voice beautifully and shows us all why he should at least be as successful as George Ezra. 

It is a rare thing these days to find an album that leans so heavily on the quality of the songwriting but 'Hand In Hand' shows off the ability of the Newbury singer-songwriter with a song that could easily be a first-dance favourite in the hands of more famous artist. 'Alive' is the kind of song that will put a spring in your step as the bouncing rhtyhm section and perky guitars plug straight in to your heart to give you a shot akin to 5 espressos. The folky finger picking of 'Make It Home' is bristling with innocence and the simple joys of youth but it still manages to bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat (play this one at my funeral and I'd be happy with that). The album closes out with 'Weightless' which has a slightly soft rock feel but is still packed full of honesty, emotion and vulnerability. Like I said, the songs do the talking and that makes them dinstinctly worth listening to - just make sure you listen with your hips, your heart and your soul as well as your ears. 

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Live Dates: 

12th October - The Grace, London

6th November - The Hug & Pint, Glasgow

8th November - The Hen & Chicken, Bristol

9th November - The Castle Hotel, Manchester