I have always been a fan of Rick Springfield, even when I shouldn't have been! As a five year old I first heard 'Talk To The Sky' and fell for the charm of the song and the tone of the voice. In 1978 Springfield played Zac, the first casualty in the Cylon's treacherous sneak attack on my all time favorite show, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA! In the early 1980's when my music taste was bit heavier, I loved the melodies, the voice and the overall presentation of songs like 'What Kind Of Fool Am I?' and the ultra cool, 'Honeymoon In Beirut'. I was also fortunate enough to catch Rick Springfield in concert and found him to be the consummate showman, filling a setlist of hits, great stories and fantastic memories.
So here we are 2017 and in three weeks (January 26th) Springfield will release his latest album, THE SNAKE KING on Frontiers Music SRL Let me start off by telling you, this is not 'Jessie's Girl' Rick Springfield, this is a musician that is embracing his influences, his roots and challenging himself as an artist. I don't know how anyone else will feel about this album, but after one listen, thank you!
The album kicks off with 'In The Land Of The Blind', a song that has an amazing Bob Dylan/George Harrison feel to it; featuring expressive lyrics and a driving beat with some great playing that makes you just feel good all over. The feel and theme of THE SNAKE KING is very blues based, some of it very 'old school' like 'The Devil You Know' and 'God Don't Care' and others like 'Judas Tree and 'Little Demon' that have that modern feel very much like Joe Bonamassa with a touch of John Mellencamp. THE SNAKE KING will not have a lot of boy/girl relationship songs, those here have been replaced with songs about soul searching and knowing there is something bigger out there.
My favorite song on the album is the last track, the 10 minute epic, 'Orpheus In The Underworld'. The song is a adventurous tale in the tradition of the music my dad introduced me to all those years ago, deep thinking music from the likes of The Band and Arlo Guthrie and of course Mr. Dylan.
Rick Springfield is taking a risk with this album. His name and reputation doesn't lend itself to anything other than melodic pop songs, and that isn't a bad thing for the listeners.. For the artist, it can be stifling, controlling and very restricting to the creative process. I admit that I don't like my favorite artists veering too far off their tried and true path, but I also don't want my favorite artist making anything other than the music they want to make. THE SNAKE KING is the album that Rick Springfield wanted to make and I hope his fanbase will accept this and I want those who know him only from the hit singles and thin tie image will give this album a chance.
MATMAN RATING - 4 OUT OF 5
THE SNAKE KING
Full Track Listing
In The Land Of The Blind
The Devil That You Know
Jesus Was An Atheist
The Snake King
God Don’t Care
The Voodoo House
Blues For The Disillusioned
Santa Is An Anagram
Orpheus In The Underworld
• Official Website: http://rickspringfield.com/
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The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.