…And nothing but the truth

“Haven’t you heard the word? I’m taking back full control”

It might be that is just the opening line of Mollie Marriott’s debut album. But it feels like it means so much more.

The track touches on the fact, in her own words: “I’m taking my life back and I’m going to show you I don’t need you.” A difficult personal time, “Broken” is a letter to her daughter after a failed relationship hurt them both, has infused these songs, but it is Marriott’s talent that drives them.

Difficult to pin down to one style, she is something of a British Sheryl Crow in that respect, the title track – one of the few she didn’t write – was originally intended for Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi, which is a pointer to where that is headed. She is just as happy, though to play something soulful like “Give Me A Reason” or “Run With The Hounds” which has real arena bothering potential.

She’s at her absolute best when she lays her emotions bare, as on “I Love Your Bones” which deals with the death of a friend. It’s stark backing adds to the mournful feel and the song builds to a wonderful and somehow uplifting crescendo.

“Transformer” is something of a note to herself and has massive intent to go with it, while “Fortunate Fate” is the most bluesy thing on offer here, and is taken to the next level by the fine keyboard work, while the dark bass and rhythms of “King Of Hearts” – co-written with Judie Tzuke – bring with them a real dirty groove, similar to that Hannah Aldridge managed on her recent brilliant “Gold Rush” record.

A collection that seems to wrestle with its personal demons in a way most don’t never makes this more explicit than on its closing track “My Heaven Can Wait”. Dealing with her breakdown of five years ago, it basically brings things round full circle and explains absolutely why she had to take back full control. She has done just that too.

The name is a clue to who her dad is, but Mollie’s plea is that people listen to her as “Mollie Marriott n not as Mollie Marriott, daughter of Steve Marriott” – that was not the name on my birth certificate” all of which seems fair enough to us, and this absolutely succeeds on it’s own merits, as it would if her name was Mollie Jones the daughter of an accountant from Carmarthen instead.

She was given a wonderful voice, now is Marriott’s time to step out of the shadows. Touring with Paul Weller (who plays on this),  Wilko Johnson and many more, she has been the “backing singer” too long. She’s ready to hunt with the pack, and that’s the whole truth.

Rating 7.5/10

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