|Kelly Keeling Giving Sight To The Eye||Mascot Records|
This is interesting...I count myself as a fan of Keeling and his past work, but I'm not particularly blown away by this album. I think some will find it quite marvelous, but I feel others will agree with me. Read on…|
Kelly Keeling is a very good singer, using his abilities perfectly to carve out a long career in such bands as Baton Rouge, MSG and Heaven & Earth, not to mention many session performances. Kelly can cover a diverse range of styles and has an instantly recognizable drawl.
This is his first solo album and I am pleased to see Kelly get wider press for himself rather than as a singer for someone else. He sings his heart out on this album and introduces himself as a very fine and articulate guitarist too. But parts of the album take a lot of listening to in order to best appreciate. Even then I'm not sold on a few tracks.
I didn't have any expectation as far as sound, but the album is a bit darker and stylistically takes on a modern approach to the classic rock sound.
I think one problem with this album is that it tries to cover too many bases and is a little bit of everything. Its diversity is admirable and Keeling tackles the styles with gusto, but that is also the main weakness of the album. I think the always changing style doesn't allow the album to slide into the best possible groove.
The album covers straight ahead hard rock (Rising Of The Snake, Nothing); blues rock (Parasite); funky 70's rock a la Glenn Hughes (Broken); acoustic driven classic rock (Sunlight Needs The Day, Head Straight, Jesse); modern hard rock (Hell Is On The Way). Then there is Ground Zero, which itself is quite a marvel! This is an 8 minute epic that sounds more like classic Kansas or ELO! It's a fabulous epic with a monster hook. Funnily enough, the track was written by and features Kansas' Kerry Livgren.
A lot of music to wrap one's ears around and a lot to digest before casting a verdict. Perhaps not one for Baton Rouge fans, but those that enjoyed the second Heaven & Earth album and like their music varied.
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