Artist: Myles Kennedy
Album: The Ides of March
Release Date: 14 th May 2021
Reviewed by: Anne-Marie Jones
The Ides of March is the anticipated second solo offering from Myles Kennedy – frontman of rock outfits Alter Bridge and Slash, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. The thumping drum and bass intro to first track “Get Along” is an instant indication that we are in for a rockier sound than Myles’ more acoustic and country sounding first release, Year of the Tiger. Lyrically, Get Along is resonant of the crazy times the world has been living in and an anthemic call for everyone to come together and ‘get along’. A theme that seems consistent throughout the album. Myles cements himself as the guitar virtuoso many are just discovering him to be with the short, grinding solo towards the end of the song. Production wise, I feel the solo could be given more space above the background instruments.
“A Thousand Words” begins with bright strumming and then kicks into full gear with a true, gutsy rock feel. It’s got
that melodic rock sound of some of the 80’s & 90’s rock bands, but with a slide guitar lulling away in the background.
I can’t help but get a Whitesnake vibe from the solo. The lyric “ ‘cause in times like these we must live and learn”
speaks to the moments of reflection most of us have endured during lockdown.
Get ready for the chest pumping, bluesy slide guitar and drum intro to next track “In Stride”. Drummer, Zia Uddin,
leading us into a Status Quo’esque rhythm that drives along beautifully for a ‘feel good’ track. The lyrics reminding
the listener not to let the worldly state of affairs drive us to madness and just go with the flow.
Title track, The Ides of March, can be best described as an epic. Over the 7 min 39 sec track, you might find yourself imagining cruising through Spain, standing upon a mountain top shouting to the masses, or being romantically serenaded with the stunning first guitar solo at the 3 min 45 sec mark. Wow! It truly is beautiful and soulful. “Wake me when it’s over” pumps along nicely with a toe-tapping rhythm, some groovin’ guitar licks and thrusting bass courtesy of the man of many talents, Tim Tournier.
Possibly my favourite track from this album, ‘Love Rain Down’ has a gorgeous, soulful riff that brings a southern bluesy feel. Myles using his lower register through most of the song with soothing harmonies. “Tell it like it is” will likely be a fun one for audiences to clap along to. A country blues style lively track. “Moonshot” would be classed as the album’s ballad and has the heartfelt sentiment that Myles is known for amongst his fans. Elements of Sheryl Crow and Tedeschi Trucks Band shine through for me on this one.
If you’re a visual person, you’ll enjoy the journey that “Wanderlust Begins” takes you on. A warm, steady paced tune that gives a feel of heading out on the road. Some lovely harmonies showcasing the incredible vocal range of Mr Kennedy. You could be mistaken for thinking that “Sifting through the fire” is heading in an Allman Brothers direction with the opening riff, but something Myles does well is take all his influences and make a sound that is uniquely his own. Once again with the production, there does seem to be a lot going on all at once. It feels like there could be more space allowed rather than all elements at one level. Closing track “Worried Mind” has a distinctly blues feel and offers a balm to soothe all your ills. The song escalates into a vocal crescendo to finish off the album and send you on your way; hopefully with a brighter outlook for the future.
All in all, a great second release for Myles. Some production elements for me could have been adjusted to offer a bit
more light and shade, but it’s an enjoyable listen for fans of the slide guitar, blues, country blues, country rock and
Myles Kennedy. Check it out!