Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 30 years, you’ll be familiar with the song Jessie’s Girl. It’s probably been sung at every wedding, birthday party or karaoke event you’ve ever been to. What you might not know is that the man behind that song, Rick Springfield, is still going strong in the music industry today. ‘The Snake King’, set for release on January 26th through Frontier’s Music, is the twentieth studio release from Springfield and brings a whole new meaning to the term “rock’n’roll”.
The album opens with Land Of The Blind, which has a real blues-rock vibe both musically and lyrically. The track is a great indication of how emotional the remainder of the album is going to be and definitely sets up for an energetic release. The Devil You Know is track two and continues with the blues vibes, but you can also hear that there are country influences. This track also throws a reference in about being unfriended on Facebook, which shocked this interviewer a little, but it was a nice little dig and attention seeker for the millennials.
Track three is Little Demon, and like The Devil You Know, definitely has country-like undertones, but also has a classic and blues rock feel. A perfect mash-up of acoustic and electric guitar with a big drum and bass backbone that will have you rocking along, whether that be with your air guitar, or some light headbanging. The outro to this track has that blues feel that the other tracks only touch on and makes for easy, yet enjoyable listening.
Judas Tree is up next and further builds on the bluesy vibe of the album, especially musically. There’s also an impressive guitar solo halfway through the track that gives Springfield the opportunity to show off his impressive skills on the instrument. Track five is Jesus Was An Atheist, which has a slow start but soon enough the instruments kick in and we’re rocking. The lyrics are everything you’d expect from the title with Springfield taking artistic liberties on his interpretation of religion.
Title track The Snake King is up next and those country influences and sounds are back after blues was allowed to take over for Judas Tree and Jesus Was An Atheist. The repetitive lyrical style of this track allows the listener to get completely lost in the musicality of the track, which is exactly what this reviewer did, and it required a second listen to report on its greatness. God Don’t Care is next and the religious and country undertones are back in force with this one. Springfield shows off his impressive vocal range on this track with his lovely, gravelly tones gaining a starring role.
The Voodoo House is track eight and it opens on choral singing before that blues beat kicks in, and the guitars and bass take over. The country vibes are also back in force on this track and is a lyrical masterpiece. Next is Suicide Manifesto, which despite what the title may imply is actually quite an upbeat song. The guitars get their chance to shine here and the fast-paced and upbeat drums are really impressive.
Blues For The Disillusioned is track ten, and while The Voodoo House and Suicide Manifesto are up beat and rocky, this song is slow and very bluesy. Acoustic guitar takes the spotlight on this one, and with previous album tracks, it takes on religious undertones. Second to last is Satan Is An Anagram which picks the beat straight back up again and is a quintessential rock’n’roll song. It has a sound similar to that of Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry and would be a great song to swing dance to.
The final, and longest track of the album at just over ten minutes, is Orpheus In The Underworld. The track contains an interesting, yet impressive 30-second harmonica solo and is an amalgamation of the three most prominent genres on the album – blues, rock’n’roll, and country. The whole album is a bit of a mash-up of different sounds, vibes, and genres so it seems perfectly fitting the final track does the exact same.