I – Nelson King (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Although it is easy to associate Nelson King with the more blasting and blistering blues based, low slung, rock and roll, he is the master of the more studied and deftly crafted number too, and his latest album, the concisely titled I, is just full of examples of this more mellow sonic arena. Rising Sun sets the scene, a spacious, mid-paced musical reflection which acts neatly as a sign post of the direction of the album as a whole. Always You nods to 70’s Stones ballads, the band being a reference point that seems threaded through his musical DNA no matter how much or how little groove and grunt he is delivering and the album’s swan song, Behind The Dawn, is a glorious finale bathed in sweeping strings and chiming guitars.

He is a rocker at heart, though so it only seems natural that Summer Dreaming sees him drop in something that purrs and motors along a bit more. But that is the exception, this is an album built on restraint, on understatement, on simple musical lines being dressed up only by the most delicate and clever enhancements, such as the drums on When The First Bullets Hit or the shimmering electronic washes on Hurricane.

As usual, its a great album but it is also a reminder that Mr King ismore than a one trick pony, much more, and within a certain bluesy, rock’n’roll, troubadour tradition he manages to shine lights in all sorts of musical corners, leave no stone (as well as the occasional Stone) unturned, and explore all manner of cross-genre melding and musical gene splicing. It’s what he does and he does it so well.

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