Review MYLES KENNEDY ‘The Ides of March’

Myles Kennedy is a busy guy, and a successful one too. Being an important part of Alter Bridge and also enriching Slash And The Conspirators songs with his excellent voice guided the spotlights of rock to the singer from Boston, Massachusetts. In addition it has been guest appearances (Halestorm, Disturbed,…), painting the dot on the i. With such a pretty full agenda, Kennedy hardly finds time for working on solo releases.

2018 provided some time for a solo endeavor and Kennedy used the momentum to work on his debut, entitled ‘Year of the Tiger’. Three years later, the sophomore record is on its way to the record stores. ‘The Ides of March’ is the title of this eleven songs featuring longplayer that showcases a passionate musician with a wider preference when it comes to styles and genres.

Rock and blues, that’s what drives ‘The Ides of March’, leading to excellent blues songs like ‘Worried Mind’. Equipped with e lot of feel and coming right from the heart, the tune is a highlight in the bottom part of the tracklist. The ten steps road to get there isn’t a bumpy one either. It all starts off with ‘Get Alone’, a blistering opener that’s as soulful as it shows hardness too.

I first highlight is the thundering ‘In Strife’, for me one of the greatest songs on ‘the Ides of March’. The track unveils Kennedy’s rock’n’roll spirit in perfection and also shows his passion for playing the six-string guitar. Being usually surrounded by excellent guitarists made Kennedy very much to a singer, while his heart beats a lot for hitting the six-strings hard. The upbeat tune finds with ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ an excellent companion and also the very rhythm-driven ‘Tell It Like Is’ showcases a lot of passion for bluesy hard rock.

(Photo Credit: Chuck Brueckmann)

Furthermore there is ‘Wanderlust Begins’ which is a very harmonic song in an acoustic set-up. The song is a beautiful piece of music, crafted in a way that it’s calm and still triggers dreams and imagination.

Without any doubt, the centerpiece is the title track, being placed in the middle of the batting order. And as in baseball, the fourth position is a crucial one, also figuratively for this longplayer. ‘The Ides of March’ is with seven minutes the by far longest track on the album. The starting point of the title track is a soulful acoustic intro, with Kennedy’s voice more whispering than singing. The song evolves along the way to a lyric rock song with emotional depth. And not only that the music is done excellently, also the lyrics are important here. Thematically related to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the famous quote of “Beware of the Ides of March”, it’s the first half of this cornerstone song, that paints a dark and dystopian picture. After a while, the mindset turns into a more positive outlook with Kennedy singing “Remember who we are. Remember what we are.” There couldn’t be a better song, being the name-giver for Kennedy’s second album. Although the idea for the songs came rather quickly, it took time and effort to work out the details. The result shows that it was worth the effort. ‘The Ides of March’ is a masterpiece.

Kennedy’s sophomore album is a well-balanced musical blend that unites blues, rock and a lot of heart’s desire. The guitarist and singer finds the sweet-spot of variety and a common expression. Although different influences and a lot of variety found a home on ‘The Ides of March’, there is always Kennedy’s guitar and voice, that runs like a golden thread though the album. Well done.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  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
  8. Moonshot
  9. Wanderlust Begins
  10. Sifting Through The Fire
  11. Worried Mind

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: May 14th, 2021

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