Saturday, 18 November 2017

Bob Seger - I Knew You When, album review


I caught up a little with Bob Seeger a while back here, and need to do more [though I have – just didn’t write about it].

This latest seems more of the fine same to me, and that’s an accolade because he has his signature and this is it, though opener Gracile is a dirty swamp-rock that is a stand-out track.

Indeed, for me this album’s strength is its signature sound throughout – basically upfront, straight rock that avoids complexity and is informed by Seger’s distinctive voice – but the fact it is bookended by Gracile and, on the deluxe edition, closer Glenn Song dedicated to his great friend Greg Frey gives it a memorable edge. The percussive beated simplicity of this song’s pace and its foreground lyrics in terms of rhyme are perfect as a fond, unadorned lament, the violin providing its plaintive accompaniment. I think it is superb.

The album also reflects on other passings with covers of Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, this latter’s selected song Democracy [a rousing cover] so the album is reflecting on more than recent musicians’ deaths. We’re going to get more of this over coming years, sadly, but when it is as honest and self-reflecting as this, the music becomes the truest empathetic obituary.

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