I’ve been listening to some archived episodes of the terrific weekly music podcast Coverville with Brian Ibbott. As the name suggests, Coverville focuses on new renditions of previously recorded songs; but there is also a recurrent segment called Uncovered Gem of the Week dedicated to original recordings. On episode 171 (January 2006), Ibbott’s Uncovered Gem was Tunnel Into Summer by Kimberly Rew from the solo album of the same title released in 2000.
Review of Tunnel Into Summer from MTVASIA.com
You may not know who Kimberley Rew is but you certainly know his most well known song. Yes, I’m talking about”Walking On Sunshine.”That song was a huge hit for Katrina And The Waves in 1983 and Kimberley was the primary songwriter and guitarist of the group. (The”Rolling Stone Album Guide”describes the first Waves’ LP as”a masterpiece of guitar pop.”)In 1997 Katrina And The Waves won the Eurovision Song Contest for the U.K. with Kimberley’s composition”Love Shine A Light,”a European Top 10 hit. But he first came to notice in the late 1970s as a member of Robyn Hitchcock’s cult heroes The Soft Boys (notable as an influence on R.E.M., The Replacements, and Uncle Tupelo).Well, finally after almost three decades as the quintessential sides-man, Kimberley releases his very first solo album with”Tunnel Into Summer”and it is a refreshing blast of effortlessly pleasing guitar pop-rock.Whilst there has never been a doubt about Kimberley’s songwriting prowess, it is indeed a welcome surprise to discover that he has a formidable singing voice. Highly reminiscent of erstwhile partner Robyn in inflection and tone, Kimberley’s vocals (and music) recalls the same influences — Syd Barrett, Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, and John Lennon.With notable assistance from Robyn, Dave (Fairport Convention) Mattacks, Glenn (Squeeze) Tillbrook, and co-producer Andy (Soft Boys, Egyptians) Metcalfe, Kimberley has assembled a collection of quality tunes primarily informed by a preference for”psychedelic folk-rock blues.”From the bright and sparkling”Simple Pleasures”to the introspective”If There’s An Answer,”the breezy title track to the jazzy and stomping”Little Ray Of Sunshine,”the wistful”Honey Is That Love”to the genuinely countrified”The Radio Played Good Vibrations,””Tunnel Into Summer”is indispensable listening for fans of organic, sincere pop.