Wendy James has been around the music world since the late 80’s, first fronting up pop punk band Transvision Vamp before embarking upon her solo career. Now releasing her fifth solo album, Queen High Straight, James has adopted genres and trends of the last few decades to create a truly diverse mix of twenty songs which include jazz, rock, pop, soul and country.

The album starts its journey with the jazzy seductiveness of the title track, which then flows into Perilous Beauty, a gritty track full of whining guitar and a driving drumbeat courtesy of James Sclavunos. Stomp Down, Snuck Up displays an air of 60’s psych pop whilst the Motown inspired Little Melvin is a real treat with its brassy pop.

There is also a nod to the raucous vibe of James’ Transvision Vamp days with Here Comes The Beautiful One with its drawling introduction enhanced by James Sedwards on lead guitar and Harry Bohay on bass. Testimonial, a melancholy song of lost love, comes exactly half way through the album and could easily be the closing track, but the album bounces straight back with a burst of drums in Bar Room Brawls And Benzedrine Blues, a song which is arguably one of the highlights on the album.

I’ll Be There When The Morning Comes is undoubtedly a Mamas And Papas influenced pop song whilst Cancel It…I’ll See Him On Monday and album finisher Kill Some Time Blues contrasts nicely with the heartbreak and storytelling of the delightful Blues Hotel.

The twenty tracks of Queen High Straight cover so much range that it is impossible to get bored. It is not just an album, it a journey of nearly 80 minutes that during the current lockdown, should be savoured and appreciated.

Remember, you can take the girl out of Punk but…

Number of tracks: 20

Running time: 79:40

Released on: The Wendy James Label

Release date: 1st May 2020

To purchase: https://thewendyjames.com/store

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)