Ex-Trapeze, ex-Deep Purple, ex-Black Sabbath bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes has released several solo albums since his 1978 debut, Play Me Out. His 2005 effort, Soul Mover, may be my favorite of the lot. Hughes gets a little help from his friends, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Chad Smith of Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers fame, along with keyboardist Ed Roth and guitarist J.J. Marsh. They provide the perfect complement to Hughes’ blend of soulful hard rock.
Whether it’s the slippery riffing of the title track, the Prince-like funk of “High Road,” the rising fury of “Let It Go” or the anthemic “Last Mistake,” Hughes grabs each song by the anatomy and doesn’t let go. The songs are killers, the arrangements dead-on and the grooves cut deep as a glacier. He sings high and low, hard and soft, however he wants, with power, soul and emotion. And he could be the best hard-rock singer alive. Hughes has completely ruined karaoke for me.