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Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings’ 'The Butterfly Effect' is a flawless album

'The Butterfly Effect,' the new album by The Jam’s former bassist Bruce Foxton and his current musical partner Russell Hastings, wears its ‘60s influences quite proudly, and the result is a highly listenable and thoroughly enjoyable album on which every track is worthwhile.

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BRUCE FOXTON & RUSSELL HASTINGS
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
Bass Tone Records (CD, LP)
★★★★★

By John Curley

Bruce Foxton & Russell Hastings -- The Butterfly Effect album cover art

Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings are musical partners in the band From The Jam that performs the songs of Foxton’s former band, The Jam. They have also recorded three albums of original material together: 2012’s Back in the Room, 2016’s Smash the Clock and this new album, The Butterfly Effect, which is quite arguably the best of the trio. Its 12 tracks are all worthwhile, and several of them are real standouts.

The opening track “Electronic Lover” is a somewhat psychedelic song that sounds like a cross between latter-day Yardbirds and The Beatles’ “Come Together.” (The ’60’s influences run deep on the album.) Hastings’ vocal on the track is a bit distorted And Foxton’s bass playing is top notch. The funky “Feet Off The Ground” is upbeat rock with solid bass and distorted guitar. Hastings’ lead vocal on the song is done in a strong soul style. It includes an impressive guitar break.

The album’s lead single “Lula” has a really wonderful Small Faces vibe to it. Hastings’ lead vocal on the song is solid. The great saxophone playing in the instrumental break is by Tony ‘Rico’ Richardson. Foxton’s bass playing on the song is fantastic. And the organ and piano on the track add a good bit of color to it. The song deserves to be a hit.

The jangly upbeat rock of “She Said” has some impressive mandolin work in the instrumental break as well as more terrific work by Foxton and Hastings. “Wanted” is a wonderfully mellow song with nice acoustic guitar and flute as well as a good piano break in the song’s midsection.

Russell Hastings (left) and Bruce Foxton. (Photograph courtesy of ©Derek D’Souza at www.derekdsouzaphotography.com, Instagram #derekdsouza)

Russell Hastings (left) and Bruce Foxton. (Photograph courtesy of ©Derek D’Souza at www.derekdsouzaphotography.com, Instagram #derekdsouza)

Two additional highlights of the album are the propulsive rocker “Circles” and the horn-driven “Time On Your Side.” The former has good guitar, bass, drums, organ, and a strong lead vocal by Hastings. The latter is an upbeat song with a soulful lead vocal by Hastings and bright horns by Nicky Madern.

“Two of Us” has good guitars, solid bass by Foxton and a strong lead vocal by Hastings. When the drums kick in, it becomes a rocker. The chilled-out vibe of “Rain” makes it a pleasure to listen to. Foxton’s perfectly understated bass playing provides a great foundation for the beautiful “Too Old To Cry, Too Young To Die.” The strings on the track add a wonderful poignancy to it. The lovely, easygoing “Walking With Me” would work well on a film soundtrack. The album closer “Anything You Want” is a rock/soul tune with great horns. It’s an upbeat song that includes a nice coda at the end with some interesting Eastern sounds.

In a more just world, this album would receive a great deal of airplay and achieve hit status. It’s a fantastic piece of work and a true pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Foxton and Hastings have done themselves quite proud here.

The music video for “Lula” can be seen below:

“She Said” can be heard below: