Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boz Skaggs ~ Some Change

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: adult contemporary
Label: Virgin
Year: 1994
Home: California

Members: Boz Scaggs ~ vocals/guitar/keyboards/bass
Ricky Fataar ~ drums/keyboards/accordian/percussion

Guests: Booker T. Jones, William "Smitty" Smith ~ organ
Fred Tackett ~ guitar
Kevin Bents, Barry Beckett, Austin de Lone ~ piano
Nathan East, Neil Stubenhaus, James "Hutch" Hutchinson ~ bass
Michael Omartian ~ organ/assorted instruments


The former voice of the early Steve Miller Band might have lost some of the spotlight by largely taking the 80's off from the music industry with his only hits being adult contemporary radio-friendly rock, but the time off is not a reflection of his abilities. If anything it's a reflection of the fickleness of the music charts & his desire to pursue other activities. Those who know the odd but addictive voice of "Lido Shuffle" & "Danger Breakdown Dead Ahead", the first song I ever heard by him which made me an instant fan, can only rave about the beautiful but often under-looked music that has poured from the pen of Boz Skaggs, a man maybe more known by many for his name than his music. If you want seductive easy-listening love ballads that have a timeless quality with a range of subtle & unexpected musical flavors Some Change is a delightful gem from the past that largely marked Skagg's return to recording after being away since 1980, except for one minor release in 1988. Some Change is a song cycle of love ballads featuring Boz's trademark memorable lyrics that includes hints of rockabilly (i.e "You Got My Letter"), blues-rock (i.e "Some Change", "Follow That Man"), country (i.e. "Fly Like A Bird"), Tex-Mex (i.e "Fly Like a Bird") & funk (i.e "Time"). The title track even features a great guitar solo by the man himself against a smooth blues rocker reminding us of his many talents. A listener will immediately be hooked by this album with its smooth laid back approach & soulful pop style ... & when I say hooked I mean I was turning my head within minutes of the first song. The album never becomes too commercial or slick sounding, though over a decade later the heavy 80's synth foundation on a few tracks (i.e. "I'll Be The One" & "Call Me") does at times sound a bit dated making the other tracks standout that much more, but two out of ten tracks is little to worry about & if one can get beyond the 80's nostalgia they still are beautiful ballads. Though, the synth heavy "Time" manages to sound almost timeless with Skagg's most intense singing with a quasi-Spanish guitar over it before bringing in a funky bassline into an unassuming surprise rocker where the music just keeps developing making it a highlight of the album. It all climaxes with a funky wah-wah guitar solo which could have kept flying if the song wasn't cut short by the radio-friendly length. Though, the synthetic drums sometimes chosen ("Illusion") don't help matters any, but in 1994 he can be forgiven for not knowing that this trend wouldn't be continued with the same love that it had in the 80's. "Sierra" reminds one of Elton John's "Daniel" & a beautiful highlight including guests Booker T. & Fred Tackett of Little Feat with Booker's organ literally floating into the song with its electric crooning floating over acoustic guitar figures. The whole album is filled with talented sessions musicians that never overplay or force the mood. This is a highly recommended album by both fans & critics & often placed right next to Skagg's 1976 classic Silk Degrees. I cannot disagree even if I tried. Boz Skaggs brings us back to a different age of music, before the power ballad became the love song de facto.


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