Review: Jerry Hull – 'Made in Memphis'



It’s near impossible to be a fan of that classic Memphis soul sound and not know of Jerry Hull, either by name or by his vibrant sound. A singer, songwriter, pianist and arranger, Jerry was born in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee where his musical journey began. Now based in the UK, his talents and sound have continued to flourish through an incredible and almost unrivaled music output; since April of 2015 he has released at least twenty-four singles, eleven music videos, and four complete albums, including a mammoth twenty-eight track collection ‘Cherokee Moon’ (released in August of last year), and his most recent title ‘Made in Memphis’.


With an expansive sound that brings together Americana, gospel, country, jazz, pop, rock, and the timeless New Orleans’ sound, the music that springs from each of Jerry’s album is a constant melting pot of styles. The most direct comparisons can be drawn between Jerry’s style with that of Elton John, Billy Joel, Burt Bacharach, and Todd Rundgren, but to leave it there would be almost an injustice. Since the release of his second album, ‘Shadows of the Sun’, Jerry’s own, unique outlook and style began to emerge, and ever since his personal brilliance has shone ever brighter.


In ‘Made in Memphis’ this change in style from the conventional to more personal has continued in near-perfect form. At fourteen tracks long, the new album defines Jerry’s developed sound, with a deft combination of rock, blues and energetic pop setting the foundation for each track, while his soulful history sparks life within the notes. Infused with lingering shades of light and dark contemplation, tracks such as ‘Silver Wings’ and ‘Valentina’ reverberate with emotive, personal flourishes, while the Halloween-tinged jaunt of ‘Creepy Crawly’, and the festive sounds of ‘Christmas Is Here’ dance playful around Jerry’s heavier compositions.


It's an album of balance pieces that roam freely from palette and place to time and tone, drifting across genres with an ease that Jerry has long since mastered. It’s not perfect, but then soul music was never meant to be, and in true form the wonder of ‘Made in Memphis’ lies not within the individual tracks, but within the unrelenting passion and undeniable power that Jerry plays them with.


Score: 7.5/10

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