Eric Burdon

'Til Your River Runs Dry

Written by: BV on 15/03/2013 14:09:09

Ahh Eric Burdon. When I first acquainted myself with his voice was way back when I stumbled upon The Animals’ rendition of ”House of the Rising Sun”, and it became one of the few songs that has managed to stick to my mind for 10+ years. Now, after all this time I feel up for the challenge of checking out the new material from the highly prolific songwriter and without further ado, I venture right into “’Til Your River Runs Dry” with mixed feelings and somewhat high hopes.

Now, what I actually found on this album can easily be started off with the opening track “Water”. “Water” is a somewhat catchy bluesy song that rings like a somewhat hollow echo from the past, as Eric Burdon’s voice has changed quite a lot over the years. – It isn’t bad at all, as the slightly throatier and deeper voice suits his new music quite well. It just wasn’t what I expected. Another thing I didn’t expect was that Eric Burdon would reinvent music with the release of this album and as it turns out – he doesn’t. Throughout tracks like “Water” and “Memorial Day” Eric Burdon drags his voice through some really kind of bluesy feels and while the tracks are certainly catchy, I never really manage to lose myself entirely to them. It might be down to the fact that the tracks only contain the “standard” of rock/blues instrumentation – guitars, bass, drums, piano etc. with the occasional addition of a horn section. But I also think it has something to do with the chord progressions of the songs and the general moods. The music itself is skillfully executed, but as the album progresses it becomes increasingly evident that a somewhat ‘lounge-like’ feel is constantly lurking beneath the surface, thus making the album far more interesting in a background context than for an intensely focused listening session.

An exception to this observation, albeit not a total exception would be the track “27 Forever” that still has that bluesy feel to it, but somehow manages to sound a bit more authentic. The vocals on this track however, are far more reminiscent of early Eric Burdon and while they are downplayed to contribute to the low key mood of the song, the vocals on this track are absolutely stunning. A horn section is also introduced on “27 Forever” which brings some much needed variation to the otherwise relatively bland soundscape of the album.

Granted, Eric Burdon isn’t young anymore but he still does some solid writing, and in spite of his older-ringing voice he really still can sing in a very characteristic way. – So, while Eric Burdon didn’t manage to stay 27 forever, I can be relatively assured that the man himself is still a fairly good singer and a great lyricist with something to say, despite his newfound fondness of ‘lounge-blues’.


Download: 27 Forever, Water, Medicine Man
For The Fans Of: The Animals, War, Eric Burdon’s solo output

Release Date 04.03.2013
ABKCO Records

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