3AM: Long Time Coming Review

With their fourth release (and first with new vocalist Laura Long) – Long Time Coming – British blues rock group 3AM is sure to impress crowds both in the States and Europe. Marked by driving rock tunes, soulful ballads and a handful of well-executed covers, the album is impressively diverse, but still showcases this group’s unique sound, which seems to have influences ranging from classic rock, R&B and even a touch of musical theatre.

The biggest story of this album is vocalist Laura Long. She shines in her debut with 3AM. After spending time on the London jazz circuit, she faced a steep learning curve into the blues rock world, but seems to have adapted rather well. Thankfully, her jazz training shines through, which gives the album a unique flair. At times, her phrasing is reminiscent of musical theatre, which creates a fascinating but delightful juxtaposition against the often straight-ahead rock groove of the rest of the band. That being said, the band is equally versatile, evidenced by guitarist Tim Renton’s original tune (reminiscent of a jazz standard) “Do You Know Your Man,” clearly written with Long’s jazz ability in mind.

Drummer Andy Renton adds another outstanding composition with “Tomorrow,” which – with the help of Long’s phrasing – sounds like a tune that would be right at home in a Broadway musical or film. “Insatiable” comes as close to defining what the blues are all about as any tune this critic has ever heard. 3AM also pays tribute to R&B great Percy Mayfield with a splendid cover of “Someone to Love.” The unsung hero of the album is keyboardist Chris Parren who is spectacular on every cut, but especially noticeable on “Tomorrow.”

There are very few complaints to be had about this album. However, the opener, “Sweet Lovin’ Woman,” is a nice driving rock tune, but the tempo is a little bit lethargic. Cranking it up a couple notches would probably have produced a little better result. Similarly, as great as Long sounds with the group, her blues rock inexperience shows at times and results in a couple awkward phrases sprinkled throughout the album. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to be excited about the direction of 3AM.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Someone to Love
– Tomorrow
– Insatiable
– Highway

The Big Hit

– Highway

Review by Nik Rodewald

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete launched Blues Rock Review full-time in 2011 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

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