This Is The Life
www.vizzavi.co.uk 8th April 2002

It always seemed a bit of an odd decision for Ricky Ross to abandon the Deacon Blue name, when to all intent an purposes he was the band, at least as far as the general public were and probably still are concerned. Well, if past history has suggested people are a little unsure as to who the hell a solo Ricky Ross is, then this, his third album does little to challenge that point of view. Recorded back in 2000, with longtime Deacon Blue collaborator Kenny MacDonald, This Is The Life is packed with such melodic, drivetime radio rockers as Rodeo Boy and Angel And Mercedes, which boasts some well-executed, Wings-style harmonies. However, more interesting is a Hammond Organ-drenched lullaby that's entitled Northern Soul. Like his contemporary Paddy MacAloon - the former Prefab Sprout man who many often confused with Ross, Ricky has a knack for classic, by-the-book songwriting and judging by this set, he's not lost it.