Among the more heartening recent miracles is the fact that right now, someone somewhere may be witnessing Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent of The Zombies, exuberantly working their way through a gig diary more brimming than in their 60s heyday. Equally miraculous is the fact that age has bodyswerved both men entirely – which is as eloquent an argument in favour of being a Zombie as we’ve ever contemplated.
On The Air Tonight is Blunstone’s 11th solo album: we all agree that he could sing the stocklist of a pound shop and make it a religious experience, but the anysong AOR production sheen slathered over Turn Your Heart Around and The Best Is Yet To Come – the latter co-written with Mel C, surreally – smacks of Radio 2 playlist landfill. It’s unfair to expect a 67-year-old to be pushing any kind of envelope other than one containing a birthday fiver and a Werther’s Original towards a grandchild; but write this off at your peril. A starkly beautiful, piano-and-vocal revisiting of One Year’s heart-crumbling Though You Are Far Away makes leaves fall all over the world, the pretty For You cradles an unexpected and loving Beach Boys homage, and Dancing In The Starlight is a breezy, bucolic bossa.