Singer/Songwriter Jeff Coffey is Back with New Music
Jeff Coffey possesses an unforgettable voice. Whether he’s singing in his power pop rock wheelhouse or stretching his music muscles in pop country, Coffey continues to shine brightly singing original songs or cover songs. Last year Coffey delivered a knockout performance on his covers album, Origins. Taking off with the same energy and spirit in his latest album, This Time Around is packed with hit after hit.
Known for his stint as vocalist for the iconic band, Chicago, Coffey is the current bassist Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles. Coffey has a way of transporting the listener to exact moments, one song at a time. These songs, especially the pop rock tunes like the opener “Black and Blue” have a slight nostalgic sheen to them, still have an audacious, modern kick. I personally felt like he was at his best singing the up tempo rock pieces like the first track, but he easily swayed me with his more dramatic and edgier take in “Someday.” When he bends slightly into the country arena, like in “All I Need Is Love”, he’s bright and fun, but I personally liked the rock songs better.
His vocals are especially strong in “Someday”. This song reminded me a lot of the later work from Queen. Someday we’ll find we’re all the same, he sings. An undercurrent, a stirring guitar that feels like it’s chasing something, flows underneath his voice. As the world goes round and round, Coffey belts. This song stops you in your tracks. I think the timing of it makes great sense, especially after the year we’ve all had, but you could put this at any point in history. When I mentioned the nostalgia factor in his songs earlier, part of that vibe and that tone is because of the melodic guitar work. Coffey showcases a lead guitar solo frequently. It’s thrilling.
This Time Around has many standouts, and as the album covers much ground and showcases Coffey’s brilliance as a singer, these songs continue to tell a strong story of passion, love, forgiveness and perseverance. He really centers in on these themes in these songs and the eternal optimism in his voice makes you believe. You always feel like he’s having the time of his life singing. In “Record Player”, a contemporary country song by today’s standards (or in 1990 a pop song), I loved the way he sets the scene for the woman he’s pining for. He wants to be her everything – he wants to be the escape that makes her the happiest.
“Tonight” is an amazing song. From the beginning piano orchestration to Coffey’s untouchable range, he creates a moving, romantic pop tune. It’s songs like this one that make you understand that his voice is his greatest gift and his best instrument. Wow, he can sing! I felt just as beguiled with him in the gem, (and very different sonically) “Far Away”. It has moments when you think it’s a funky, burping percussion and it just explodes into a bombastic sound. His voice, well, it never misses a beat.