On That's What We Were Born For, veteran British singer Paul Cox teams with young French guitarist Charlie Fabert. After meeting at a Christmas event a few years back, they decided to align their talents for this 10-track album that succeeds with Cox delivering his trademark bluesy vocals and Fabert providing just the right understated guitar solos.
That's What We Were Born For is an easy album to like. Even as they recount lost love and missed chances, Cox and Fabert prove to be good company, delivering a modern blues collection well seasoned with soul and rock. The pair share writing credits on four songs, including the rocker "Mean Disposition," which is followed by the gospel-influenced groove of their "Burning Flame." They also penned the title track, a rousing number that is sure to get audiences out of their seats.
Cox and Fabert also deliver a warm rendition of the ballad "You Were Never Mine" written by Delbert McClinton, Gary Nicholson, and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame. Cox is excellent on this number as he uses the more gentler, more soothing side of his vocals to convey sad resolve. "I never lost you," he sings. "You were never mine." It's the saddest and prettiest song on the album.
There are also two numbers, the catchy opening "Big Change is Gonna Come" and the reflective "I Can't Change," by Roger Cotton, who produced the album and plays keyboards. Throughout the effort, the young gun Fabert is never far from Cox's side, but he never tries to steal the show, preferring to keep his solos short and sweet.
Strong support from background vocalists and horns add to the rich, soul sound that weaves throughout the album. Judging by the results, it wouldn't be surprising if the two men collaborate again.