Kotzen, Richie - 2002 Slow

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ARTIST: Kotzen, Richie
ALBUM: Slow
LABEL: Lion Music
SERIAL: LMC2211 2
YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Richie Kotzen - all instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Ohio * 02 Scared of You * 03 Gold Digger * 04 The Answer * 05 Slow * 06 Don't Wanna Lie * 07 Got It Bad * 08 I Can Make You Happy * 09 Sapphire * 10 Come Back (Swear To God) * 11 Rely On Me * 12 Let's Say Goodbye * 13 Conflicted * 14 All I Can

Background

At the age of 29 Richie Kotzen has released the staggering sum of eleven solo albums (not to mention Poison, Mr Big etc) the latest of which is 'Slow'.

It's the newest of a series of Kotzen CD's to flood the US market after his three Japan only albums of the 90's were released in the USA in 2000.

True to form Kotzen remains the experimentalist, toying with an array of styles ranging from hard rock, blues to electronic beats. It's another brave attempt to remain diverse and the results are at times impressive.

The Songs

'Ohio' kicks things off with an instrumental, the first of four scattered throughout. Most showcase Kotzen's guitar trickery, notably 'Conflicted' which starts out as a jazz showcase but evolves into a short foray into hard rock riffing and soloing. The songs are of more interest naturally.

'Scared Of You' is one of the few pieces of traditional rock found on 'Slow'. There are none of the electronic effects that predominate the majority of songs, and the guitar work is typically masterful. 'Gold Digger' sees the techno beats kick in backed up by a rock backing. A common feature throughout.

The title track has some funk overtones and a 70's styled chorus. 'Don't Wanna Lie' is bluesy but incorporates keyboards with a nice melodic groove. 'Got It Bad' lays on some more electronic funk while 'Come Back (Swear To God)' is a slice of modern rock which could fit easily into todays charts.

If this guy was marketed better this could be a radio hit. There are barely any guitars, save for a brief solo, and it's almost all beats and loops. The chorus saves it from being a pop throwaway.

'Let's Say Goodbye' eschews the techno, almost, in favour of a solid blues ballad, but the samples remain in the background faintly. Bonus cut 'All I Can' is a hard rock scorcher, which comes as a remedy after the technical burnout. Kotzen excels with standard rock whether he likes it or not.

In Summary

This isn't quite my cup of tea, but 'Slow' was far better than it had any right to be (to me). Usually the infiltration of industrial noises and the like are unappealing, but mixed with Kotzen's fiery guitar and vocals he proves it can be done effectively.

Apparently 'Slow' has been meeting with positive reviews and rightfully so. There's a lot of passion here and don't forget Kotzen has written and played everything you hear. If rock fans can get past the techno aspect then what you basically have is a fine piece of hard rock. It just makes you wonder where there is left for the kid to go.


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Comments

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    It’s funny coming across reviews like this, that I have no recollection of writing, let alone actually listening to the album itself. I guess that’s to be expected 17 years later.
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