10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Music Is A Habit That Never Dies Hard,
This review is from: Til Your River Runs Dry (Audio CD)
He was the lead singer of the Animals,one of the key founders/presenters of War and has continued to have a prolific and musically fruitful solo career as well. Between the more commercially inclined Mick Jagger to the almost blues purism of John Mayall and Paul Butterfield Eric Burden has always been that important missing link in the British blues/rock scene of the 60's that has knocked down any gaps that have existed between blues,rock and soul music. That's left his sound open to a number of different stylistic changes over the years. Well now it's 2012 and half a century has passed since Eric first made his musical debut as a member of the Animals. He has watched generations of people,time and music come and go. And in the case of music,often come around again. Somehow though the music he based his entire career on,R&B,has continued to thrive. And in terms of Eric himself thrive it does.
The album opens with two spirited blues rockers in "Water" and "Memorial Day",the latter reflecting strongly on the relationship between being against a war but supporting warriors who fight them. "Old Habits Die Hard" and "In The Ground" deal with the same rocking blues flavor on the topics of hard living and regret. On "Devil And Jesus" he uses the medium of hardcore southern soul to explore that mixture of the spiritual darkness and the light at the heart of all blues based music-including soul. "27 Forever" has a similar soul flavor and deals with that age when so many rock legends pass away and become shooting stars. "Wait" blends a clean,percussive bossa soul type flavor-a wonderful paean to romantic longing. On "River Is Rising"? Well he's talking the blues back to Congo Square with the infectious percussion of the Caribbean adding the main musical might. One of my personal favorites here.
Of course there's also "Bo Diddley Special",my favorite here as Eric describes seeing the R&B instrumental innovator live in concert,right down to his description of the shape of Bo's guitar! Between two interpretations,the soulful Marc Cohn "Medicine Man" and the closing rocked up blues of Muddy Waters "Before You Accuse Me",there's the brilliant jazzy blues of "Invitation To The White House",in which Burden once again muses on a dream he had where he addresses the US president (Barack Obama likely) and gives him requested advice on how to make America better. If the blues is at it's root a confessional form Eric Burden has,especially by this time,an understanding of it nearing perhaps the level where people such as Muddy Waters,John Lee Hooker and Howlin Wolf had. And all of them lived that life that was their music. Eric for his part has lived through much. And the conversational and expressive way he emotes his powerful voice actually makes this one of the few records where I can say it sounds as if the artists is having a personal chat with me. As for the content of this "record chat" to extend the metaphor? That the questions asked by people like Eric Burden and that generation will be with us for a long time to come.