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High & Mighty
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The thing about High and Mighty and the Mule in general is that it brings you back to what was truly great about driving blues rock before it got taken over by the hair bands and the Journeys and Bon Jovi's. This is rock and roll that is reminiscent of the past but never imitative and not revisionist. Rock on Mule!
I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
This CD is, quite frankly, amazing. I can easily see it moving into position as my second favorite Mule studio album, after "Life Before Insanity." It sounds to me like the new lineup has finally synthesized all of their different influences and the different styles (from hard rock to reggae to funk) all blend seamlessly into a towering wall of gritty southern blues rock. With the sole exception of "Unring the Bell," which just doesn't jive with me for some reason, every track on here falls into a pure Mule groove.
In addition, this is the strongest songwriting effort from Warren Haynes since "Life Before Insanity." He has always been at his strongest as a blues songwriter when wrestling with his own melancholy, depression and the disparate situations of the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor. Here he's channeling that rage and social conscience more effectively than he has for years, showcasing both his songwriting and phenomenal vocal talent (see especially "Nothing Again" and "Endless Parade").
Every hardcore Mule fan knows, however, that the live shows are where it's at with this band. Rest assured, these songs will DESTROY in a live setting. I had been down on seeing them again after "Deja Voodoo," but there is no question that I will see them at the first opportunity now.
Bottom Line: Praise the gods of Southern Rock and the Blues, the Mule is BACK.
High & Mighty starts out with the excellent riff heavy title track that immediately draws the listener in. When you add in Danny Louis' organ lines, the band essentially sounds like a harder version of the Black Crowes that recorded Shake Your Money Maker. Tracks like "Brand New Angel", "Brighter Days", and "Streamline Woman" are absolutely killer as the band plays with a hunger that you don't hear often enough in today's music. "Like Flies" is a wicked hard rocker that recalls Soundgarden, in both Haynes' lead vocal and guitar lines. But just calling Gov't Mule a great hard rock band wouldn't do them justice. Mellower tunes like "Child of the Earth", "Nothing Again", and "So Weak So Strong", the latter of which has a guitar line reminiscent of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence", are all excellent tracks that have a `70s classic rock feel while still sounding fresh. "Unring the Bell" has a cool reggae feel while the closing instrumental "3 String George" is similar to the excellent jazz-funk band, Garaj Mahal, only with Haynes' tasty licks added in. Finally, "Million Miles from Yesterday" is a gospel-tinged track that works very well. The only slight drawback to this release is that a few songs, like "Endless Parade" and "Unring the Bell", do drag a little due to their long track lengths. All told, if you like no-nonsense hard rock with both conviction and diversity, you can't go wrong with High & Mighty.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This group is incredible. I had not heard of them before Pandora. When I did hear them I had to buy this album. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mimix5
Great album by a great band. Not 1 bad song in my opinion on this CD.Published 15 months ago by consumer buyer
From my perspective this is the best recording I have of this band. Gordy Johnson if you are out there you rule as an engineer and producer. This just sounds killer period.Published 19 months ago by John M. Frings
I bought this album based on the very positive reviews on Amazon, but I was pretty disappointed. There are a few good tracks but overall I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a... Read morePublished on January 3, 2014 by Chris Reilly