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Richie Kotzen - 'Cannibals' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/86/f5/e5/richie-kotzen-cannibals-64-1438031940.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 27, 2015    
 
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A class act from an artist who every time you think he is at the top of his game, just keeps on pulling the sublime out of the proverbial hat.

What sets Richie Kotzen apart from many is his ability to absorb and embrace so many musical styles, then write songs incorporating them into a piece of work that is essentially his own. Many artists go out of genre but it frequently sounds stilted and false, Kotzen does it like breathing.

'Cannibals' is a sumptuous feast of Funk and Soul with Jazz and R&B overtones all stamped with the Kotzen signature. Overall the album is stripped back, it's simple and uncluttered with the emphasis on the songs and the lyrics; the production is stunning, crisp, warm and pure.

Title track 'Cannibals' is deliciously upbeat and Funky, the bass lines groove it along like a heartbeat and it Rocks along to the solo easily. 'Come On Free' Rocks the 1970's Soul vibe to perfection, this could have sat happily on a Marvin Gaye album. Which brings us to 'I'm All In', a Funky Soul piece featuring the legendary Dug Pinnick, their voices work together like whisky and honey and it'll make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

'In An Instant' has smooth Jazz overtones but Kotzen's voice oozes Soul, the harmonies are provided by girlfriend Julia Lage. 'Shake It Off' is Rockier with a touch of Salsa, one of the few tracks that's not solely Kotzen, Mike Bennett provides additional percussion.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Stand Tall' has some schmoozy, Funky Hammond licks and features Billy Sheehan providing the low tones by doubling the vocals, the screaming R&B licks in the background are Lage and Elizabeth Sheehan. 'The Enemy' is a simple song of voice and piano while 'Time For The Payment' is so heartfelt and soulful it will make you shiver; just listen to the acoustic licks and remind yourself this is ALL Kotzen playing. 'Up (You Turn Me)' has a more Gospel vibe.

Lastly, there's 'You', a song that is proof the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, the music was written by his daughter August Kotzen when she was thirteen, and he recorded it so she wouldn't forget it. While recording this album, he found it and added a lyric and melody; the result is haunting and beautiful and a reminder to keep an eye on his daughter who is developing in to a considerable talent in her own right.

If you're a Kotzen fan and know the ropes, you will LOVE this album. If you are coming to it via The Winery Dogs, you need to be prepared that this is not a Heavy Rock album, instead it's a class act from an artist who every time you think he is at the top of his game, just keeps on pulling the sublime out of the proverbial hat.

Helen Bradley Owers

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