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Saguitar
     

Saguitar

by Alvin Lee
 
This rather awkwardly titled album (Alvin Lee's horoscope sign is Sagittarius) is a true solo project from the ex-Ten Years After frontman. He plays virtually all the instruments except keyboards, overdubbing himself in his home studio to impressive effect. Musically, he's not blazing any new territory at this point in his career,

Overview

This rather awkwardly titled album (Alvin Lee's horoscope sign is Sagittarius) is a true solo project from the ex-Ten Years After frontman. He plays virtually all the instruments except keyboards, overdubbing himself in his home studio to impressive effect. Musically, he's not blazing any new territory at this point in his career, content with sticking to the Chuck Berry styled rocking blues boogies and the country twang he has dabbled in for 40 years. Lee's not a great drummer, and the lack of a rhythm section (other than his own overdubbing) results in a somewhat stiff, homogenous feel that might have been avoided if he had just hired a few pros to play these parts. Still, Lee's voice hasn't changed an iota since his heyday, and songs such as "The Squeeze" adequately replicate "I'd Love to Change the World"-styled hits without being carbon copies. "Smoking Rope" digs into the stop-start "I'm a Man" blues riff with surprisingly electrified results, helped enormously by Tim Hinkley's keyboards and an acoustic based sound that clicks without the drums that often hinder this album's material. Perhaps he could have left the self-explanatory "Rapper" on the cutting room floor, even though the psychedelic guitar solo that snakes through the track helps overcome Lee's very white and cardboard-sounding rapping. He's far more convincing on blues based originals such as "Blues Has Got a Hold on Me," a mellow yet convincing groove perfect for Lee's voice and approach. His vocals have always been Elvis-influenced so when he goes full on Presley for the rockabilly "Memphis" (not the Chuck Berry tune), the effect is impressive and unpretentious. Lee lays off most of the lightning licks of his youth, instead adding tight, taut fills that bring substance without flash to an eclectic and consistently enjoyable set. Ultimately, this is a solid Alvin Lee album that fans will enjoy but that is unlikely to attract many newcomers to his rather predictable if undeniably personal and energetic style.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2007
Label:
Rainman
UPC:
0809289070328
catalogNumber:
703
Rank:
87901

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