Artist: Smith Kotzen
Album: Smith Kotzen
Release Date: 26th March 2021
Reviewer: Rod Strachan
On March 26th BMG release the highly anticipated collaboration between Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen titled “Smith/Kotzen”. This nine track album showcases two peerless guitar talents working in perfect unison.
The nine tracks feature the two trading not only vocals and guitar work but bass duties throughout the course of the album. Enter Tal Bergman on the drums on several tracks Richie himself on others and Nicko McBrain (Smith’s long time Iron Maiden band mate on “Solar Flare”).
“Taking My Chances” leads the album off as the first single and opening track. The brilliantly written verses and chorus lead us head on straight into the dual solo that one comes to sense going deeper into the record! A faultless beginning leads us into the third single to drop “Running”. This song showcases the ease and which album organically was constructed back in February 2020. Again the lyrics drive a faultless sound delivered in its finest possible way!
“Scars” was the second song to hit the airwaves last month. The acoustic fuelled into backed with some amazing blues ballad style vocals takes us on a journey into the sub-consciousness of music bliss. “Some People” features some amazing vocal trade-offs and thoroughly earns it’s place on the album with some stellar mixing by the producer of the project Kevin Shirley.
“Glory Road” is a glimpse into the lives of the musician’s life on the road. The blues infested masterpiece is served up with a singalong chorus leaving you wanting more! “Solar Flare” hits you next with the full force of Nicko’s guest appearance on the drums. This 70’s feel track has classic rock written all over it from the intro to the end.
Moody and a little darker in mode best describes “You Don’t Know Me”, yet every bit worthy of its place. The sulky deep diving song partnered with the down tuning sound work to perfection. The somewhat pop driven “I Wanna Stay” and funkier “’Til Tomorrow” close the album out in fine style. Lyrically lending their souls to the current world situations and crisis on some levels.
The final synopsis of the Smith/Kotzen release? Simply put it is not to be missed. Whether you collect CD’s, vinyl or audio files you need this release in your catalogue. You will not be disappointed!