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Springfield, Rick: The Snake King

Who in their right mind would have ever thought we would be discussing a new release from veteran Australian singer/actor Rick Springfield here on Sea of Tranquility in 2018? I sure as hell didn't, nor would I have guessed his new album The Snake King would appear on Frontiers Records, a label known for resuscitating careers of veterans rockers, but most would have considered Springfield a stretch,even for them. Let's face it, it's been quite a long time since the days that "Jessie's Girl", "I've Done Everything for You", "Don't Talk to Strangers", "Affair of the Heart" and "Love Somebody" were topping the charts in the early '80s, so what does this guy have to offer here in 2018?

Apparently, quite a bit. The 68 year old singer/guitarist lends his still strong vocals and surprisingly impressive guitar skills throughout The Snake King's dozen new tracks, the tunes a blend of pop, blues, and hard rock styles. "The Land of the Blind" kicks things off in catchy fashion, a crisp rocker with a great hook and tight instrumentation, a trend that follows on the excellent "The Devil That You Know". Rick gets all serious and bluesy on the darker "Little Demon", complete with stinging electric guitar solos and deft acoustic picking. "Judas Tree" is upbeat Louisiana styled blues, complete with harmonica and tasty guitar solos, and that formula continues on the equally fun "Jesus Was An Atheist". The immediately catchy title track is a rootsy, bluesy romp, the acoustic slide guitars shining brightly alongside Springfield's strong vocals, and there's a cool Southern Rock vibe on the swampy "The Voodoo House", almost as if Springfield sat in with Lynyrd Skynyrd. The autobiographical "Suicide Manifesto" is pretty upbeat despite it's dark lyrical themes, the singer openly discussing his bouts with depression that almost ended with him considering taking his own life not long ago. For "Santa is an Anagram", Springfield uses rockabilly to bring us a fun and humorous new Christmas classic (some sizzling guitar work here), and the album closes with the roots rocker "Orpheus In The Underworld", a song with a great lyrical message and arrangements that aren't far removed from Bruce Springsteen's more acoustic based material.

So, the end result is a strong album from Rick Springfield that is totally not what I would have expected from him. As modern day blues/rock/pop albums go, this one's a keeper, and a great release from an artist who I'm sure many have forgotten about but who has remained fairly active all these years.

Track Listing

  1. In The Land Of The Blind
  2. The Devil That You Know
  3. Little Demon
  4. Judas Tree
  5. Jesus Was An Atheist
  6. The Snake King
  7. God Don't Care
  8. The Voodoo House
  9. Suicide Manifesto
  10. Blues For The Disillusioned
  11. Santa Is An Anagram
  12. Orpheus In The Underworld

Added: January 15th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 1394
Language: english

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