Hear The Track HereThe more elephantine members of my readership (Ed: Ooow, you can't call them THAT) may have memories enough to remember my encounter with exceedingly calm sounding Ralph Atkinson. I reviewed Building A Time Machine (October 2009) and absolutely loved it. It was a beautifully realised piece of blues rock that truly stood up to the definition, although I wouldn't have thought that from Ralph's description of the track. There again, I wouldn't have described You Mix Me Up as 'polyrhythmic r&b' either but hey, each to their own.
Burdened by the knowledge of how good the last track was, I must admit that I felt a little disappointment with this new track. Then I read that Ralph wrote this especially for the 'December '09 Coconut Blues Club' challenge on Soundclick's forums (I admit I'm guessing there), so would be likely to be a bit underpar, after all Time Machine was an immaculate piece of technical work, let alone a cracking blues song. In spite of it's obvious cleverness in terms of timing, and layout, underneath is yer blues in all its gory (not a misprint). I've always found some people have never 'got' the blues but I did at an early age and have loved the genre ever since. What Ralph has here is almost a funky blues (at least in feel) but I feel it just isn't a strong song in it's genre let alone stand outside it, as Time Machine did.
See that's the problem with coming up with a knockout track, it raises the bar for you, and anything less than that will suffer accordingly. Vocally, Ralph sounds so right in Time Machine, and formulaic on You Mix Me Up. Still, if this is the product of a hasty deadline, in a blues challenge say, then this would definitely have captured my attention, principally because of those timing tricks I mentioned earlier. I would have put the vocal and performance at a demo and/or pub rock (if you get my drift) level for sure, but musically I would have been interested. The impression I was left with that, although nothing startling, You Mix Me Up is a more than competent blues tune.