Monday, June 18, 2012

Seth Walker: "Time Can Change" (2012) CD Review

I started this blog to share my love of music. And what's happened is others have been sharing their passion for music with me. I've been getting turned on to all sorts of great musicians and songwriters.  One of those is Seth Walker, whose new album Time Can Change I've been enjoying for a few weeks now.  This album immediately put a smile on my face.  It's filled with good, positive grooves.

It's blues with a laid back attitude and a fun vibe (at times almost with a sort of lounge thing happening, like in "Something's Come Over Me").  Sometimes blues can feel like a pose, like a costume folks wear for the length of a song. But you never get that from Seth Walker. Everything sounds true, everything sounds honest.  And this album is not overproduced - all that's here is what's needed.  Seth Walker delves into different musical genres, but always keeps things feeling positive. There are shades of mid-1960s R&B on certain tracks (like the wonderful "All This Love").  Then a track like "Before It Breaks" is blues with a bit of a funky rhythm.  This album also has one of the best songs of the year so far: "In The Meantime."

"Love Is Through With Me"

The first lines of the CD are, "I'm through with love/Love is through with me." Then he adds, "I ain't mad/I ain't even hurt," that love is just too much work. How's that for honesty? I love it. "Love Is Through With Me" has a groovy rhythm with sparse work on drums. It's an acoustic tune with a blues edge. There is also a nice short instrumental section, with some wonderful work on guitar.

"Stronger Than You Need To Be"

"Stronger Than You Need To Be," a song written by Gary Nicholson and Bruce McCabe, features great backing vocals with a 1960s gospel flavor. This song has an upbeat, positive vibe.  Here is a taste of the lyrics: "Don't be stronger than you need to be/Don't make it harder than it has to be/It's no sign of weakness to give your love to me."

"In The Meantime"

"In The Meantime" is a slower tune that is one of my absolute favorites (not just of this album, but of this year so far). This is a song in which he asks to be able enjoy something while it lasts, something that will inevitably end. Check out these lines: "In the meantime will you be mine/I'll be the fool that sees you through the meantime/I'm not talking about forever/And we don't have to play for keeps/'Cause I know that one day you just might pack up and leave."  I love the feel of this one. A couple of minutes in, some backing vocals are added that are just perfect. This song has a mid-1960s R&B thing, particularly in his vocals. That's one of the elements that really wins me over.

"In The Meantime" was written by Seth Walker and Jarrod Dickenson.

"Wait A Minute"

"Wait A Minute" is an interesting mix of blues with a reggae rhythm. And as such, it has a definite happy, optimistic feel (can reggae ever be negative?). And it's a song about a new love, a time that is nearly always a time of optimism. Written by Seth Walker and Jimmy Wallace, "Wait A Minute" features an innocent vibe, which is refreshing. There are also nice touches on organ by Kevin McKendree. And this tune features backing vocals by Regina, Ann and Alfreda McCrary.


"Rosalie" is a wonderful love song about coming home. It has a nice slow build. Coming home always sounds wonderful and so positive in songs, like in these lines: "So leave the porch light on/I'm coming home/And Rosalie, you're the one for me/I'll prove my love somehow/Rosalie, there's a change in me/I swear I won't let you down." In addition to organ, Stefano Intelisano plays accordion on this one.

"Rosalie" was written by Seth Walker and Jarrod Dickenson.

"More Days Like This"

Time Can Change concludes with "More Days Like This," another tune with a happy, positive vibe. This is a life-is-good tune, and it's important to hear these songs from time to time, as a sort of reminder of what life can be. Seth Walker sings, "I want to have more days like this/And more nights like that." Indeed. I dig what Stefano Intelisano does on piano on this one.  "More Days Like This" was written by Seth Walker and Gary Nicholson.

CD Track List
  1. Love Is Through With Me
  2. Stronger Than You Need To Be
  3. Found Myself Lost
  4. In The Meantime
  5. Before It Breaks
  6. I've Got A Thing For You
  7. Wait A Minute
  8. All This Love
  9. Rosalie
  10. Something's Come Over Me
  11. What Now
  12. More Days Like This

Musicians on this album include Seth Walker on vocals and guitar; Steve Mackey on bass; Derrek Phillips on drums; Kevin McKendree on Wurlitzer, organ and piano; Stefano Intelisano on piano, organ and accordion; Ephraim Owens on trumpet; Raul Malo on bass; Ray Benson on guitar; and Evan Hutchings on percussion.  Jessi Alexander, Regina McCrary, Ann McCrary and Alfreda McCrary provide backing vocals.

Time Can Change is scheduled to be released on June 19, 2012.

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