The Guess Who - Plein D'Amour

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Some fans will be surprised that The Guess Who are still a working band; after all it's been many decades since the rockers ruled the airwaves with songs like "American Woman," "Share the Land," "No Time," "These Eyes" and lots of other hits. The only remaining member from back in the day is drummer and co-founder Garry Peterson and he's aided here by longtime members Derek Sharp on lead vocals and Leonard Shaw on keys as well as guitarist Michael Staertow and bass man Michael Devin. Plein D'Amour, which by the way means "full of love," is an intriguing listen that begins with "The King," a cut that sounds like a mash-up of Styx and 10cc, pop perfection that's filled with sweet harmony vocals set to a marching rhythm. "People Around Me" is a sunny yacht rocker that spotlights Sharp's vocal talent, Shaw's piano work and more harmony vocals. "Headline" has an Americana bent and recalls the sound of Poco while "Free" is a mid-tempo rocker about being rid of regrets of the past and heading off potential new ones, with aching vocals from Sharp. The album closes with the title track, again in a Styx mood; "Plein D'Amour" has a great hook in its chorus that merely repeats the song title as the band rocks out in a bit of a prog vein. So yeah, there's nothing here that recalls The Guess Who of yore, but there's a very impressive performance from The Guess Who of today.


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