With a click of the heel and a twang of the strings, Derek James’ sophomore release Take You Out Dancing flashes you a wry smile and in a flick of the wrist slings his own brand of bluesy rock and roll right into your ears.
What’s not to like, in the end, when you’re presented with the swirling organs of ‘Lovely Fool’ and its quirky Motown feelings of summer love, or the Jack Johnson style swayings of ‘She Goes Far Away’, all tinged with ska influences and an easy going, carefree feel. There are some modern touches as well, found embedded in the “woah woahs” of ‘Wave Your Flag’, and title track ‘Take You Out Dancing’ will have you slipping into a reverie with its slightly fuzzy echo on the vocal.
It’s probably fair to say that this is a record that covers a number of bases, but does in in a way that stays true to Derek James’ particular style – a curious combination of getting on with things seriously while at the same time having his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Take You Out Dancing, while not exactly pushing the boundaries of modern music, definitely tickles the ears and runs a very good change of bringing a smile to the face of those who choose to give the record a chance.