One of a kind

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(earMUSIC, 2018)

Karakter: 5/6

Don Airey cover.jpgThis excellent and atmospheric record by the living legend that is Don Airey (Deep Purple, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, etc.) came out a few months ago and if you have yet to pick up a copy of it or familiarize yourself with it then you are in for a treat. Boasting a raw and organic sound with power and bombast to it, the eleven cuts that make up the album incorporate some of the very best traits and elements from many of Airey's previous musical outfits while still retaining his very own style and signature. There is something about his melodies and the way in which his keyboards color the songs while simultaneously adding depth and substance to them that is akin to magic. "One of a Kind" is basically a mixture of classic rock and hard rock from the 70s and 80s with a few nods to 60s rock 'n' roll added for good measure. On top of that, there are plenty of bluesy riffs, deftly composed solos, warm and heartfelt vocals with a slightly gritty edge to them, and of course loads of magnificent strings courtesy of Airey himself that add something unique to the song material.

Airey's keyboard wizardry is as dazzling as ever and the album oozes class from start to finish. You can just tell that these songs were crafted by veterans and pros who have all been around the block a few times in that there is an authority and a presence to the them that speak of the kind of experience that comes with age. It is not merely about playing the notes; it is about infusing them with the kind of emotional weight and intensity that seasoned guys who have been active on the touring circuit for decades know better than most. In that sense, there is a groovy and rather playful vibe to the proceedings here and in no way does it sound rigid, but there is absolutely nothing sloppy or half-assed about it either. Everything is brilliantly executed and the musicianship is to die for. Laurence Cottle (Black Sabbath) and the talented Jon Finnigan are a bombastic rhythm section, Simon McBride's guitar work is formidable, and Carl Sentance (Nazareth, Persian Risk) is an outstanding singer. No two ways about it.

While all the songs are good if not superb, only a few of them reach stratospheric heights, but still, "One of a Kind" is indisputably an awesome (hard) rock output and the great thing about it is that it covers much more musical ground than most other rock records out there do. You want raunchy rock songs with hard-driving riffs and fist-pumping choruses to them? You got it. You want somewhat mellow tunes with a melancholic vibe to them? You came to the right place. The bottom line is that every fan of Rainbow, Deep Purple, Cozy Powell's Hammer, and very early Whitesnake ought to invest in this grand and impressive effort ASAP. As if that was not enough, the disc also contains some stately live renditions of "Pictures of Home" (Deep Purple), "Since You've Been Gone" (Rainbow), "I Surrender" (Rainbow), and "Still Got the Blues" (Gary Moore) as bonus tracks. Do not forget to keep an eye out for any Don Airey tours or gigs near you – they are always a lot of fun to attend and his musical cohorts rule. Again, do not miss out on "One of a Kind."

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