When an artist of the moral fibre of Randall Bramblett releases an album, we hurry to listen to it and we usually are satisfied. Sadly, it's not always the case and, despite the deep respect to such a musician, I have to admit that old Randall is off the mark with his last record. Some prestigious guests lent him a hand but it doesn't seem to be enough to recreate the magic of his former album (« The bright spots » in 2014). So, Mark Knopfler's guitar doesn't save « Dead in the water », a middle tempo tune without any significant originality. « Devil music » doesn't play in the same register with an extra funky side. Chuck Leavell takes part with talent on the jazz/swing « Reptile pilot » but can't pull this tune out of the banality. « Strong for love » (that we could qualify as « hard funk ») and « Missing link » (a funky soul tune with winds) don't also make a great impression. It's getting a bit better with « Bottom of the ocean » and its comploicated but catchy rhythm guitar as well its good six-string solo. « Angel child » take the same recipe again with Derek Trucks' slide as a bonus. The guitar solo of « Pride in place » sounds very Deep Purple-like as « Ride », slow and intimate, tint itself with Gregg Allman-like colourations. Finally, the melodic and spirited « Thing for you », embellished with a sax solo, seems to be conceived for the American radios. But those few tunes don't succeed in redeeming this record that lets actually a feeling of disappointment. The tempos aren't enough varied and the rhythm section persists in sounding « modern », in the « r n’ b » style. Perhaps Randall wanted to increase his audience but instead giving the name of « Devil music » (the Blues' knickname) to his album, he'd better choose the term « Modern music ». There, we would have been careful and we would have avoided the bad surprise. Well, I stop my whining complaints and I go and listen again to « The bright spots ». This one, that was a class act ! Let's hope that he will sort it out next year.
Translation : Y. Philippot-Degand