Chester Kamen And The Loves – Americanized (Stoney Records)
Anything goes on Americanized.
Forget the naughty grammatical nod to our friends across the Pond.
That’s the least remarkable thing about this extraordinary album.
Guitarist Kamen cut his teeth with David Gilmour, Bryan Ferry Paul McCartney, Roger Waters and…Madonna.
So the fact that the fretwork is on fire should come as no surprise.
Nevertheless, it’s the breadth of styles and depth of musicianship that sets Americanized apart.
There’s ska, punk, classic rock and power pop.
But more than that there’s a refreshing optimism running right through a record built on positivity and passion.
Legendary drummer Steve Monti (The Blockheads, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Gary Numan) co-produces with Kamen.
And the pair capture a super-cool vibe that could be the soundtrack to summer 2020…and many more summers to come.
Michael Cahill’s vocals sit somewhere between Tom Petty, Sting, Bobby Gillespie and Michael Hutchence.
And it’s the singer’s range and versatility that allows Kamen to shine.
The duo combines to sparkling effect on the groove-laden Take It Easy.
Almost Done is almost classic Dire Straits…with Cahill and Kamen in blistering form.
And they’re at it again on the pacy, poppy Show Me.
There’s a lazy, hazy Southern rock feel to Kamen’s axe work on That Kind Of Love.
But nothing’s off limits on the super-sized Americanized.
Kamen is clearly capable of doing it all.
Cahill provides the perfect foil.
And Monti keeps it all together with tightest of beats.
But the unexpected ace in the pack?
Sam Harley on bass. This bloke is a rhythm king.
Chester Kamen, he saw, he conquered. Americanized is a creative triumph.