The Ides of March delivered by Myles Kennedy on his latest solo album
With life on hold as the pandemic silenced stages across the world. Myles Kennedy tour plans cancelled; at home he created the framework for the song ideas that would make up the new solo album The Ides Of March. The musicians on the second solo album are the same cohort who he collaborated on his debut Year of The Tiger. Expect to be taken on a journey exploring variety of tones and styles as Myles straps on his electric guitar and pushes himself as a guitarist/songwriter. This set of 11-songs is definitely not a repetition of Year Of The Tiger with its acoustic exploration through Myles’ mind.
Opening the album with Get Along. The slide guitar riffs hit the speakers followed by the searing hights of Myles vocals exploring the lyrics. An opening number that sets expectations high as our pulses speed up with the delightful anticipation of what is to follow over the next ten tracks. If the world listens to Myles I am positive, we could all get along and loose the veil of blind ignorance. This is a powerhouse for an opener!
Now follow that up! Off course he does with the voice is the glue holds the musical arrangement together. Myles vocals are the light and shade and soars above the guitar while Zia’s drumming is the perfect sonic backdrop. A picture paints a thousand words this is music delivering a myriad of emotions as notes and words coalesce and we are uplifted by the sound fans from across Myles’ various projects will instantly connect to.
Third track in watch the video with the return of Stefano Bertelli (who created the recent “Native Son” video for Alter Bridge) and shows an animated Myles as he takes the end of the world in his stride. As Myles says,
“Chill out. That pretty much sums it up. The lyric paints a picture of a survivalist preparing for an impending zombie apocalypse. It was inspired by the first wave of lockdowns as everyone was buying vast amounts of toilet paper and supplies. I started to ask myself if it might be wise to try and gain some perspective and not overreact… keep calm and carry on.”
Now for the title track an epic of over 7-minutes. Sit back and absorb the journey Myles, Tim and Zia takes you on. Myles whispers into your ears the opening and then – the tone change as a dance melodic rhythm surround the lyrics we are drugged under the spell of The Ides of March. Do not be seduce by the tonal quality of the instrumentation – take time to absorb the lyrics every word has its place in the journey The Ides of March is taking us on. This is Roman legend captured in modern rock with a progressive twist.
Wake Me Up When It’s Over contrast with a fast, urgent beat as the arrangements and balance shifts again taking us into a different orbit, viewing Myles’ skills from a different angle as the prism divides the notes into a rainbow shower of delights. Now we are listening to Love Rain Down, acoustic guitar opens with Myles singing this feels personal and it feels as if he is singing directly to you. This is a respite after the emotional and musical turmoil of delights in the first half of the album.
The saying it ‘like it says on the tin’ fits this raunchy slide guitar extravaganza Myles does Tell It As It Is. This track is pure unadulterated pleasure of guitar and vocals in harmony. We want to party as the beat heats up and Southern Rock vibe joins the party, we all want to join in and clap, sing and dance the night away.
Myles propels us out of the universe with Moonshot, a track with all three musicians showing once again their depth of talent. We can find the miracle with music that uplifts and takes us beyond our tears. We land back to earth and go for a trip with Wanderlust Begins. This is easy listening full of hope and new beginnings, full of opportunities that await as we walk down the country road.
Penultimate track, and the dials are turned up as we are propelled into the citadel of rock with Sifting Through Fire. We know the arrangement and instrumentation will be superb. The tonal cadences will wrap around us in a reassuring hug. It is once again the song writing craft that weaves the words into a shape that tells a story and a we listen we weave our own textures through the words.
Worried Mind, closes the album with a pensive mood capturing the essence of the blues. The bass and drums flesh out the simplicity of the guitar while taking centre stage is a Myles vocals. It is the power of the words that give this closing track gravitas combines with the multi-instrumental jazz infused lead-break. It leaves you with only one option listen to the whole album again. With every listen something new is heard.
The album works perfectly as you are taken from track one through to eleven the styles change as they morph into a new form. Each track has its own distinctive voice and cadence, making the each track a standalone pleasure when streaming as part of a playlist. I can assure you that when a track does come on you will turn it up and look to listen to the whole album, The Ides of March is a force to be reckoned with.
Bluesdoodles Rating: No need to beware the Ides of March when delivered by Myles Kennedy, hence the five doodle paws a stupendous listen on so many levels.
1. Get Along
2. A Thousand Words
3. In Stride
4. The Ides of March
5. Wake Me When It’s Over
6. Love Rain Down
7. Tell It Like It Is
9. Wanderlust Begins
10. Sifting Through Fire
11. Worried Mind
Musicians joining Myles Kennedy are:
Zia Uddin – Drums
Tim Tournier – Bass
Producer: Michael “Elvis” Baskette
The Ides Of March will be available in the following formats:
– Digital Album
– 1 CD Jewel Case
– 1 CD Digipack (Napalm mail order, limited to 500 worldwide)
– 2 LP Gatefold Black Vinyl
– 2 LP Gatefold Grey Vinyl (RoW only)
– 2 LP Gatefold Bottle Green Transparent Vinyl (Napalm mailorder, limited to 400 worldwide)
– Die Hard Limited Edition: 2 LP Gatefold Clear Splatter Mint/Violet/White Vinyl + Aluminium Print (Napalm mailorder, limited to 300 worldwide)
– Limited Deluxe Box: Glow In The Dark Vinyl + Cover Artprint + 7″ Glow In The Dark “A Thousand Words” Vinyl Demo Single + Pendant + Slipmat (Napalm mailorder, limited to 700 worldwide)