Ralph Molina
Love & Inspiration
Vapor Records

Fire Up The Tesla For a Midnight Drive Along Ventura Highway.

Normally if the first song on an album doesn’t ‘grab my attention’ I swiftly move on to the next one in the pile; but sometimes the artist involved is too important to me for me to be so flippant; and Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina certainly falls into that camp…… especially as this is his debut solo album!
Why the reticence on my behalf? Well as the owner of three rocking Crazy Horse albums, numerous Neil Young ones featuring this legendary drummer who also plays one of my favourite albums of all time; Ian McNabb’s Merseybeast……the first track Lullabies and subsequently Your Life is My Life Too which swiftly follows the 22 second opener were absolutely nothing like what I expected at all.
But; why can’t Molina record what the Hell he likes after sitting at the back of the stage for half a century?
That second song, and pretty much everything that follows is as smooth as silk and full to the brim with gorgeous overdubbed harmonies on a song that sounds like it could be a lost track from Sunflower or Surf’s Up or Sunflower by the Beach Boys.
It’s having those albums in the back of my mind which is how I actually got my head around LOVE & INSPIRATION, the songs here are quite enigmatic and very ‘West Coast’ with every song perfectly created to compliment Molina’s effortless singing style
All 11 songs are self-penned and show a dormant talent finally allowed to flourish; with Too Young To Know and Follow That Star both sounding like they were from some starry eyed Lo-Fi Alt, Country band rather than a man who has tread the boards at every major festival and stadium known to man.
While listening over the last couple of days words like ‘cinematic’, ‘ethereal’ and ‘delicate’ spring to mind whenever I’ve heard It’s Gonna Be Alright and especially You Wear an Angel’s Wings; yet each has a lot going on the background as does the nearest there is to a ‘rocker’ here, the co-write with Sir Ian McNabb; Dance on The Wind but only in as much as it’s a luxuriously soft-rocker.
Oh man! Now Summer has arrived LOVE & INSPIRATION has already elbowed out a couple of albums due for review, as I’ve fallen head over heals in love with this album; which brings me to my Favourite Track here, Hopelessly In Love With You, which feels like a gentle cuddle and just needs a film soundtrack to attach itself too for it to be a major hit.
As I said at the start, this probably won’t be what you would expect from the Crazy Horse drummer; but if you can get past your preconceptions this album really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Released June 21st 2019

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