The Sidleys Bittersweet Is Anything But

The Sidleys

Bittersweet

My Money Records, 2013

Husband and wife Steve and Annie Sidley front this blue eyed soul act, and divvy up the vocal duties in the process.  The CD’s Title track “Bittersweet” is a sharply angular Philladelphia soul style number with a brightly warm and engaging guitar sound to pull us in. And the first thing you may notice about Annie Sidley’s voice is her profound commitment to performance. Sidley CVROccassionally delicate, and at times commanding, her voice is always a captivating presence. “Play it Down” is a graciouslly seductive vocal delivery to pull the listner in, and toy with them.

“Ordinairy Way” and “Hear Me Out” are both songs where Steve Sidley handles the lead vocals duties. “Ordinairy Way” having some nice Spanish guitar touches to dress it up, and give it some distinct personality. While “Hear me Out” is upbeat and aggressive with some funky wah soling showing off the some other colors in the bands musical pallette.

“Tin Flowers” is a quieter number with room for reflection as guitar and vocal take center stage. A more tender moment between a couple you’d be pressed to find.

“Last of Your Goodbyes” is a pretty and tortured accusation of an errant lover. The song wanders dangerously close into the territory of torch songs. Annie’s voices is stunning and the guitar and keyboards parts are appropriately dramatic, saving it from becoming schmaltz. “The Breakdown” is a better attempt and delivery of everyday drama playing itself out in song.

Then there’s the horn funk of “Cold Ice Paradise.” it feels like a mid-70’s morality song, and it’s a groove you can positively get behind. You may even want to lace up your skates and fire up the glitter ball for this one.

Closing out with “Diamond in the Snow,” the couple harmonizes, and calls to mind the beautifully haunting melodies of the near forgotten Atlanta alt rock act, The Apples. A perfect song on the passage of time. “Drew your picture in the air/Just to prove that you were there/Found a diamond in the snow/That was a long time ago.”

The Sidleys have delivered a sweetly refreshing collection of soulful numbers that’s retro and new at the same time. This could become a sleeper hit in your collection. The CD you can’t manage to take out of rotation.