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Richie Kotzen - Cannibals Award winner

Richie Kotzen
by Anamaria Carla Ionita at 12 January 2015, 8:47 PM

Guitar virtuoso Richie Kotzen burst onto the heavy metal scene as a teenager with a lightning-fast guitar technique. RICHIE KOTZEN returns with his 24th solo album (counting his two albums with GREG HOWE, FORTY DEUCE, and WILSON HAWK albums) and his first since 2011′s “24 Hours”. Since “24 Hours” release, Richie has been busy writing, recording & touring with THE WINERY DOGS, touring extensively as a solo artist and releasing his 2014 “Essential Richie Kotzen” collection.

Anyone who has followed Richie’s solo output at all, knows not to expect two similar albums in a row and “Cannibals” carries on that tradition of being vastly different from “24 Hours”, yet retaining some similarities sonically.

The album kicks off with the title track “Cannibals”, and it gets off with a funky groove - ‘70s inspired bass lines that helps build the tempo till the chorus. In terms of lyrics, it is Richie’s views on the world and how people act. “Cannibals” made its debut during his recent three-month solo tour, which started in Europe, taking Kotzen through Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Chile and concluding with a month-long trek of the U.S. Rather than waiting to release the song as part of the new album, he wanted to share the studio version with the fans then and there, while it was still fresh. He was also able to collect live footage that was shot during the tour and compile a live video to go along with the song. To be honest, it took me a while to detach myself from this tune and continue with the album, its up-tempo is just mesmerizing.  With “In An Instant”, you are brought back to “earth”. It has a slower vibe, more towards ‘70s R&B style; it’s kind of a throwback really.

His Soul influences are extremely visible with “The Enemy”. Telling another introspective story, Richie’s voice above the soft piano and the low guitar tunes, give you the chills.

“Shake It Off” has an interesting start: Latin percussion followed by modern production techniques and a Freddie Mercury chorus like. The story behind “You” is very touching. It was written (musically) by Richie’s daughter, over four years ago. She was 13 or 14; she was sitting at the piano and playing this piece and “big daddy” decided to help her not to forget these tunes, by recording it.
The acoustic on “Time For The Payment” complements Richie’s voice impeccably.

“Cannibal” is one of his calmer, mellower releases. Focused more on the lyrics and introspection rather than the instrumental creation. His voice is once again delightful, a wonderful singer, songwriter and musician, from what you don’t know what to expect.

5 Star Rating

1. Cannibals
2. In An Instant
3. The Enemy
4. Shake It Off
5. Come On Free
6. I’m All In
7. Stand Tall
8. Up (You Turn Me)
9. You
10. Time For The Payment
Richie Kotzen
Record Label: Headroom-Inc.


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