CD Review: Simon Townshend: Looking Out/Looking In


The jacket cover to Simon Townshend’s latest CD ‘Looking Out/Looking In.’ Image courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment, Lmt. Copyright 2012.

“Life has served up some interesting stuff that’s inspired me! I think it’s my best CD yet. Now let us know what YOU think. You may have to buy it first though. Damn!” – Simon Townshend

I agree, Simon. On your latest CD, you really have outdone yourself…and that’s really saying something! His latest offering continues Townshend’s signature soulful, melodic sounds -always heartfelt and uniquely Simon Townshend – while introducing a brighter sound that really made this listener’s ears stand to attention!

On this, his seventh studio album, Simon Townshend once again proves to be a shining talent in his own right, whose passionate music and thoughtful lyrics are in no way overshadowed by those of his older brother, Pete. A hallmark of Simon’s solo work is just how strikingly original his songs truly are: their irresistible wordplay and shimmering guitar work making them immediately memorable. That natural ability at brilliant use of lyrics must run in the Townshend gene pool, lol.

Simon’s latest CD  manages to sound dynamic and exciting yet warm and inviting. This neat feat is largely due to the rock – steady, confident drumming of Simon’s son, Ben Townshend, that anchors Tony Lowe’s  lead guitar work, while also helping it blend smoothly into the warm, earthy sound of Townshend’s acoustic guitar and mandolin. An electrifying guitarist who never disappoints, Lowe is equally adept at piano, while his bass playing here is positively delightful  “ear candy.” The vibe throughout is smooth yet intense, and no tracks here sound disconnected or like “throwaways”…which is a lot more than I can say for many other recent CDs I have heard lately, lol.

Some of the CD’s highlights:

the soaring rocker “Forever And a Day”

the soulful and tangy `She Asked Me’

Townshend’s lush, melodic mandolin in `Bed of Roses’

But for those of you who love your rockin’ anthems, fear not. Townshend delivers with songs like `Making Waves’ `Electric Friend’, and `Make It’ that will have you up and on your feet fast as the speed of light…well, almost as fast, lol.

Simon’s ever – growing talent at creating captivating music of lasting quality has, IMHO come to fruition in his latest album. Now, let me know what YOU think. You may have to buy it first though. Damn!

With his father a big-band jazz veteran, his brother (Pete Townshend, of The Who) a legend in rock and his son (Ben Townshend) an up-and-coming drummer, Simon Townshend has lived his life thoroughly immersed in music (Townshend: “I’ve been writing songs since I was eight years old!”). At the tender age of nine, he contributed background vocals to The Who’s 1969 Rock Opera Tommy.

His previous six solo albums consist of: Among Us(1997), Animal Soup(1999), Bare Bodies Bare Assets (2000), Ages(2000), simontownshendis (2002) and Something New (2011). All were all self-produced.

In 2005, Simon was part of The Casbah Club: Bruce Foxton (The Jam/Stiff Little Fingers) and Mark Brzezicki (Big Country). This union of reknown talents resulted in the critically acclaimed Venustraphobia. Simon Townshend has performed with Jeff Beck, Pearl Jam, and Roger Daltrey and was onstage with The Who at the 2010 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Simon will be on tour again with The Who this winter.

Track Listing:

1. Forever And A Day
2. Stay
3. Looking Out Looking In
4. She Asked Me
5. Something New
6. There s A Girl
7. Electric Friend
8. Bed Of Roses
9. Still Love
10. Making Waves
11. Make It

Product Details:

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • ASIN: B009DJB7VU
  • In-Print Editions: MP3 Music
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,401 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)




Shirley Pena

About Shirley Pena

A native of Southern California, Shirley Peña began her career as a music journalist almost twenty years ago, writing for her websites "Stars In My Eyes: the Girlhowdy Website" and "La Raza Rock!" and progressed to creating various fan sites on Yahoo, including the first for New Zealand singer/songwriter Tim Finn. From there, she became a free agent, arranging online interviews for Yahoo fan clubs with various music artists (Andy White, John Crawford, Debora Iyall, John Easdale, etc.). She also lent her support in creating and moderating a number of Yahoo fan clubs for various music artists from the 1990s-today. As a music journalist, Shirley Peña has contributed to a number of magazines (both hard copy and online), among them: Goldmine, American Songwriter, Classic Drummer Magazine and UK-based Keyboard Player (where she was a principal journalist). A self-confessed "fanatic" of 1960s "British Invasion" bands, Classic Rock and nostalgic "Old Hollywood ", she also keeps her finger on the pulse of current trends in music, with a keen eye for up and coming artists of special merit. Shirley Peña loves Los Angeles, and is thrilled to join the writing staff of The Los Angeles Beat!
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