|Vivian Campbell Two Sides Of If||Sanctuary Records|
This is an interesting release. My general dislike of covers albums is well known and the other release most closely aligned with this – Aerosmith's Honkin' On Bobo – got a review it deserved. |
So why might this be any better? I'm not sure what exactly appeals, but it is a good release should the desire to boogie down with some blues arise. I can't recall ever hearing a Vivian lead vocal before, but for some reason I hear exactly what I expected.
Vivian has a rough and raspy singing voice, yet it retains some warmth that makes this album that more enjoyable.
This is pure blues…no sign of melodic rock nor Riverdogs or Leppard style layers here.
The guitar playing is obviously impeccable, but also enjoyable are the occasional piano and smoking harmonica parts.
I'm reminded constantly of Charlie Sexton throughout this record. Charlie was the king of high-tech melodic rock just like Viv is with Def Leppard. But Charlie had a soft spot for the blues as showcased on the Arc Angels release. Vivian's vocals match those of Charlie's on several songs, but the style and delivery is also very similar to southern rock styling of Arc Angels in places.
I'm not sure any songs stand out as absolute favorites, although I do favor some of the uptempo numbers such as Messin' With the Kid, Hunter and I'm Ready.
Perhaps my favourite of all is the pacey 32/20 Blues, which features some outstanding riffing. Best of the slow tracks is Come on in My Kitchen and Reconsider Baby. From a production stand point, the sound is pretty rough, but that done to suit the music. This is a very rough, raw and live feeling record.
This will sit nicely alongside my Gary Moore Still Got The Blues CD.
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