Phillip Foxley is like a fine Bordeaux, he just gets intensely better with age. It seems he has been largely overlooked in all the mainstream scheme of things, but Foxley has always been the genuine article, whose consummate skill, writing and good taste speaks to his impressive command of his music and instrument. The album “I’ll try ’till I die” is terrific from the first instrumental note to the final chords and you’ll find yourself hitting replay over and over. His accomplices on this effort are as in sync with his explorations as he is, and Foxley himself handles only a couple of vocal tracks preferring to pass these duties onto selected guests, which give the whole proceeding a multicolored glow.
Phillip Foxley has always struck me as a typical Brit blues and rock guitarist. He seems to not just mimic what he likes from American blues extraction, but makes it as much about being British as anyone does. He has absorbed a direction in music and given it, both in his lyrics and in his melodies, a sensibility few of his contemporaries deliver. His solos are architecturally beautiful, full of passion. His lyrics speak from both the heart and the mind, fully aware that the sands of time are running faster now.
This record which consists of 22 tracks taken from various periods of Foxley’s musical career and reworked into new versions, is as much a summing up of his journey and an appreciation of what is important. While Foxley, like most artists is always recycling and discarding, where he has definitely improved is in his sense of dynamics, and he is now also giving himself artistic license to follow different inspirations, fusing his songs with lots of pop and acoustic sensibilities into these latest versions. This can be heard on tracks like “I Don’t Want To Go! – feat vocal by Nachum Peterseil”, “Promises – feat. vocal by Anna Yanova-Cattoor” and “I Don’t Mind! – feat. vocal by Anna Yanova-Cattoor”.
Foxley doesn’t forget the Blues and rock orientated vocal stuff either, which can be heard on songs like “The Place – feat vocal by Tony Pappas”, “I’ll Be Right There! feat. vocal by Enrique Jimenez Aristi”, “Demon Lover – Ft. Vocals By OKTeam”, “Racing Thru Time” and “I Don’t Fit In!”. However it is on the instrumental tracks where Philip Foxley shines at his brightest, namely: “No Problems”, “Racing Thru Time”, “On The Fly”, “Indian Summer” and “Time”. Philip Foxley’s guitar work has not mellowed with age; it has instead matured. His guitar work is at times subtle, and at other times full boar with what I can only describe as heart-stirring hooks and licks from a rusty old Strat.
“I’ll try ’till I die” is a mix of freshly arranged classic Phillip Foxley tunes and a few new originals; the record’s pace and atmosphere are steady, assured and quite inviting. The lead vocals are split between Foxley and a wealth of featured guests – both male and female. Foxley is admittedly not the best vocalist on the globe – but personally I’d much rather hear him interpret his lyrics than someone else. This album is not just a collection of songs – it’s a flowing creative, often atmospheric piece – which actually sounds great late at night – as long as you keep the volume down! There is a generous helping of guitar throughout, with Foxleys’s electric hooks and grooves making it clear that this old dog has many new tricks up his sleeve yet!
MORE ABOUT: Phillip Foxley is a songwriter/guitarist from Wales in the UK. He first picked up a guitar in the 1970s, playing clubs and bars. Over time, he found himself in studio sessions, house bands, and writing music for TV and film soundtracks. With influences like Snowy White, David Gilmour, Mick Ronson, Alvin Lee, Leslie West and Gary Moore, Foxley says of his debut album: “Every track on this album means so much and every note is from my very soul”.