Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Oct 1st, 2019

Alan Chappell: Penultimate

Alan Chappell

Alan Chappell’s newest LP, Penultimate, opens with the slicing violin dark melodic “Ride,” matched with some great lead guitar playing. This is as hot a lead-off tune you are likely to find and sets up this very good collection of very good songs.

“Girl with Blue Eyes” slides us into tense-filled slices and jumps, while the piano and fat bass of the satirical “I am Zuck,” talks of someone so famous he cannot be ignored as well as what he wrought. The horn play here is real cool too, unexpected at first. I love how Chappell weaves it in the melody and comes to use the instrument often in what follows.

Piano is at the fore again on “The Radio,” with its flick-y back beat. Out of all the tunes on Penultimate I believe this one showcases Chappell’s oddly effective vocal the best of the dozen here.

A single-note electric lead gets us into “Freedonia.” Once again there is some finely placed and played guitar here and at times I found myself overlooking this subtle playing in the mix of such tight songwriting and good melodies. And that high melodic violin lines bring us once again into a tune, this time the stop and go ender, the love song “If You Like.”

Penultimate is a very strong mature showing from expert player/songwriter/singer Alan Chapell.

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Alan Chappell: Penultimate