ARTIST:

ERIC GALES

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

CROWN

(2022)
LABEL:

MASCOT LABEL GROUP

GENRE:

ROCK

/ BLUES
TAGS:
Bluesy, Funky, Groovy, Guitar-Hero
"Between funk and blues hits and more conventional tracks, Eric Gales fails for this time to get his bluesman crown with "Crown". But his inimitable sense of groove remains intact."
NEWF (15.02.2022)  
3/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

"My name is Eric Gales. Any question ?" This is how Eric Gales' 18th studio album, "Crown", begins and ends. And it happens that we have a lot of questions to ask him. Starting with the meaning of the artwork of this new record whose megalomania, even taken at the second degree, contrasts to say the least with the content of the album, which unfortunately doesn't have the flamboyance of the recent productions of the bluesman, in particular "Middle Of The Road" and "The Bookends". Not that this new opus is uninteresting, far from it, but it unfortunately contains almost as many hits as conventional tracks.

Yet, without 6 or 7 tracks, "Crown" would have been one of the best blues rock albums of the decade. Because in addition to the sense of groove and the killer guitar solo which made the legend of Eric Gales, this album has a three star production signed by the tandem Joe Bonamassa/Josh Smith which emphasizes all the sensitivity of the guitarist.

Tracks like the very rocking 'Death Of Me', the funky 'I Want My Crown', which sees Joe Bonamassa and Eric Gales having an amazing guitar duel, or the astonishing blues-rock 'Survivor' and its pop chorus, testify of an artist who masters to perfection the art of transmitting emotions with a few chords and a good dose of talent. It is moreover when he leaves his blues comfort zone that Eric Gales is the most moving, in particular with the superb ballad 'I Found Her', dedicated to his wife LaDonna Gales, with whom he delivers a funky soul duet of high flight on the excellent 'Take Me Just As I Am'.

Unfortunately, "Crown" is penalized by the excess of generosity of its author, whose intention to make his introspection and to tell his personal story, between racism, drug addiction and redemption, incites him to do too much, at least musically. Thus, the devastating titles mix with others, much less inspired, like the very classic 'You Don't Know The Blues', 'My Own Best Friend' or 'The Storm' (in a more rhythm and blues register), without speaking about the incomprehensible choice to sprinkle the album with short instrumental interludes without any interest ('Had To Dip', 'Rattlin' Change', 'Cupcakin'').

With "Crown", Eric Gales sometimes sinks too much in an easiness to which he was not accustomed until then. The most striking example is the track 'Too Close To The Fire' which would have been probably the most powerful track of the album if it was not so inspired by Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb'. It's all the more annoying that "Crown" contains the best tracks Eric Gales ever wrote. With a shorter and more balanced album, he could certainly have had his bluesman crown.


More informations on https://www.ericgales.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Death Of Me
02. The Storm
03. Had to Dip
04. I Want My Crown
05. Stand Up
06. Survivor
07. You Don't Know The Blues
08. Rattlin' Change
09. Too Close To The Fire
10. Put That Back
11. Take Me Just As I Am
12. Cupcakin'
13. Let Me Start with This
14. I Found Her
15. My Own Best Friend
16. I Gotta G

LINEUP:
Aaron Haggerty: Batterie
Dylan Wiggins: Claviers
Eric Gales: Chant / Guitares / Basse
Joe Bonamassa: Guitares / Invité
Ladonna Gales: Chant / Invité
   
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