Richie Kotzen - Salting Earth

Richie Kotzen Salting Earth cover
Richie Kotzen
Salting Earth
Headroom-Inc
2017
7.5
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Kotzen is an unsung hero, a guitar slinger that’s multifaceted as he’s capable both as a performer as well as a composer, who doesn’t feel compelled to just show off, for no reason; twenty one solo albums later and a career that has taken him high and low, “Salting Earth” doesn’t have jack to prove.
 
“End of Earth” is well meant vintage rock with bluesy licks and a neat, meaty solo outro…
 
“Grammy” is a playful acoustic number, possibly a little tongue in cheek about a million other guys having a Grammy but not him. It’s almost written like a love song, haha.
 
“Thunder” is a more metallic rocker at least riff wise, because Kotzen’s vocal is bluesy and there’s a funky element in it all and an electric solo as well…
 
“Divine Power” is a lot more melancholic and introspective with some rather unpredictable fuzzy soloing that feels quite improvised. Not a blinder, but still one of the kind of songs that show off a well-rounded musical and song crafting ability.
 
“I’ve Got You” is a soft and breezy, soulful number, with a poppy hook that’s just brilliant; also its solo is brilliantly unobtrusive and so well implemented in the song that flows effortlessly.
 
“My Rock” is another soul/blues jam, with a cool almost Prince-esque airy falsetto delivery. It’s a spiritual number, but done really tastefully…
 
“This is Life” is more showing of the bluesy vocals that Kotzen is capable off, rather than his guitar, until the solo comes around, on which RK just fires up, all his got in the most brilliant manner.
 
“Make It Easy” sounds you know like the electric blues of “early” Whitesnake and such and injects the album with a much needed shot of “energy”.
 
“Meds” is little more middle of the road, keeps the mood strictly blues, but is a lot more thumbing (with its prevailing bass riff) despite being a slower number and ultimately doesn’t disappoint.
 
Last but not least, “Cannon Ball” would have you expecting a fast and furious number by its title, but it’s actually a very “soulful” slow jam, with warm vocals and a poppy hook.
 
“Salting Earth” is another album that adds a number of cool songs to Ritcie’s already vast catalog and has enough variety to please even the most discerning fan. For a guy that’s been around since the 80s, being able to still produce albums of this caliber, is indeed a blessing. Well done.

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