Myles Kennedy – “Year Of The Tiger” (Album Review)

Myles Kennedy – “Year Of The Tiger” (Album Review)

22nd March 2018 0 By Gavin Griffiths

Some things just ain’t what they used to be, y’know? I mean AC/DC once said “Rock ‘N’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” and though true it may be, times they sadly change…the way we consume music has changed and more importantly, society and its tastes changed. Gone are the days of the ‘Rock Star’ and bands on big money contracts selling records faster than they can count the money they use purely for cocaine…nowadays it’s all about digital formats and mainstream charts dominated by disposable pop artists, and rappers with about as much street cred as Oscar The Grouch…bands just aren’t as big as they used to be. Well one band that sure as hell are aiming to change that are ALTER BRIDGE…formerly known as “that band who did music for Edge in WWE”, they have in recent years grown into one of the biggest names in modern rock music, and in front-man Myles Kennedy they have one of the modern era’s finest rock stars. Regarded as one of the best vocalists of a generation, it was only going be so long before he decided to branch out from his band duties to focus on a solo record, and 2018 has seen him do just that…despite being the year of the dog in this year’s Chinese zodiac, he’s recently released “Year Of The Tiger”…is he 8 years late or 4 years early? Let’s find out…

Of course I jest and it turns out that this is actually a deeply personal album for Myles that, in fact took a full seven years to complete! The year in question is 1974, the year that Myles’ father sadly passed away when he was just four years old and due to a stop/start process (He’s already thrown away an album’s worth of material to start from scratch) this has been more than delayed. The album itself opens up with the title track and it’s an interesting one to say the very least…with its mixture of campfire-acoustics and traditional Asian instrumentation courtesy of a mandolin, it’s a sweet little multi-layered track, a story of mourning as he tells of how his family coped when his father died. A religious man, he declined medical attention and the family suffered watching him deteriorate and it was an incredibly difficult time. “The Great Beyond” continues with the narrative and musically it’s incredibly dramatic, properly fitting of the voyage post-death, and it hammers home the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness…wishing it were all just a dream and sonically it’s really quite powerful.

“Devil On The Wall” again comes back to that acoustic country-vibe with a rich blues tone at the songs core, though with subtle nods to rockabilly too with it’s up-beat, groove-heavy delivery…in many ways it finds itself somewhere between CHRIS ISAAK and IMELDA MAY musically and it provides a clear album highlight, while “Love Can Only Heal” allows for a wonderfully somber listen. Far more hushed and to a degree fragile than we’re used to, we all know Myles can belt them out such is the power of his vocal range, but this a such an emotional track it truly is a beautiful listen, by far the strongest track on the album. The rest…well the rest of the album comprises of more of the same, country-inspired acoustic melodies…it’s a very raw, very cathartic album which Myles himself needed to happen, and though while it’s not got the bombastic arena-leveling anthems of his day-job band…you still have to appreciate the sheer force of his vocal drawl and that’s the focal point here…his voice. It’s not about arrogance, he has a story to tell, he has these pent-up thoughts to get off his chest and this is what “Year Of The Tiger” is all about; release. Still though…I’m a bit of a stickler and wish he’d waited those 4 years to release this on an actual year of the tiger…you disappoint me Myles.

Score: 7/10

Track List:

  1. “Year Of The Tiger”
  2.  “The Great Beyond”
  3.  “Blind Faith”
  4.  “Devil On The Wall”
  5.  “Ghost Of Shangri La”
  6.  “Turning Stones”
  7.  “Haunted By Design”
  8.  “Mother”
  9.  “Nothing But A Name”
  10.  “Love Can Only Heal”
  11.  “Songbird”
  12.  “One Fine Day”

Record Label:
Napalm Records
Release Date:
March 9th

For all things Myles Kennedy click HERE and to purchase the album, click HERE

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