Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

Richie Kotzen: Salting Earth

Richie Kotzen
Salting Earth
(Headroom Inc)

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A stumbling drum beat and picked flang-y echoed guitar with Richie Kotzen’s wailing vocal, rolls into the plodding “End of Earth” opener of Kotzen’s latest, Salting Earth. The lead guitar work here is bendy and effective, into the heavy big sing-able chorus proving, as we all know, Kotzen’s solid guitar prowess and big song ability. “Thunder” follows, a solid rocker, with a doubled slight harmony vocal and a strut of a bridge (and again) a big commercial chorus; it’s got a Whitesneake-80’s feel to it that just rocks!

“Divine Power” slows things down, showcasing Kotzen’s blues ballad vocals and again his wailing. We probably could have used a slower hand here, but Kotzen is going for a Hendrix-like ballad vibe. The piano slipping in is a nice touch.

There’s a cool 70’s groove to “I Got You,” but an even deeper one with the strings and piano leading “My Rock.” I just love this one, a pure sappy love song with ooohs and groove, and thank God, no wailing “look how fast I can play guitar” leading. “This Is Life,” follows in the same vein, showcasing Kotzen’s falsetto in another attempt of mid-70’s R&B.

“Meds” is informed by heavy organ and thrumming bass, a big fun funk number, and just by sheer difference in soundscape led by electric piano while tight beat on “Cannon Ball,” might be the most effective tune here.

The Prince-like acoustic groove of “Grammy” ends Ritchie Kotzen’s 21st solo album, Salting Earth.

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Richie Kotzen: Salting Earth