Written by Alex Stojanovic
Summer Lovers Autumn Wine
My Georgian Bay
Best I Never Had
The Old Marriage Waltz
Time To Stay
Release Date: November 13, 2020
Label: El Mocambo Records
Kim Mitchell - Lead vocals & guitars / Peter Fredette - Bass & vocals
Dave Langguth - Drums / Kevin Adamson - Keyboards
I remember reading an excerpt in an interview that Kim did a couple of years ago regarding new music, and he mentioned that the material was more in the vein of his softer songs like "Easy To Tame", "All We Are", "Patio Lanterns" and "Alana Loves Me". He's always written amazing ballads and soft songs, but that revelation gave me mixed feelings in a way, because in my eyes, it wouldn't be a proper Kim Mitchell album without some rockers in the vein of "Rock 'N Roll Duty", "Lager & Ale" or "Diary For Rock 'N Roll Men". Even with the more upbeat, up-tempo songs, there's a lot less distortion, making them have a more poppy and country vibe. I'm not saying that's bad, it's merely an observation.
Going into the album, the opening track "Red Horizon" feels very out of place in its spot on the track list. A song as slow as this one would be more properly placed in the #3 spot or any other one after that. In my honest opinion, the second single "2Up2Bdown" should've been the opener. It may not be a rocker, but it's the closest thing we'll get to a rocker on this album. Things don't get anymore Ontarian than on "My Georgian Bay", where Kim pays tribute to his old home on Georgian Bay, and the lyrics reference many other small southern Ontario towns and venues that he has performed at over the years.
This is one of those records that has many people featured on different tracks, as opposed to having only a few people playing on the entire album. To me, I found it rather odd that Kim didn't have his longtime bandmate Peter Fredette playing bass on any of the songs. Instead, Peter gets a vocal moment by providing backing vocals on "Best I Never Had". As all you Kim fans out there know, Peter still has an incredible vocal range and can still hit the high notes he sang on the classic songs. Peter is the Canadian equivalent to Michael Anthony. Even if Peter didn't play bass, I wish he had more vocal moments on the record.
As I mentioned at the top, Kim has musically been a part of my life since I was growing up, so I've been listening to him for pretty much my entire life. When you've been an avid fan of a artist for such a long time, and you review their new album, it can be really difficult to review because you WANT to like the record, and giving the new album a bit of a low score would make you feel weird as a fan. To sum up this record, it's full of high-class (not going to do the pun) performances, the production is great, and it certainly feels great and refreshing to hear Kim's voice on new music after a long time. However, like I said, as a hardcore fan myself, the lack of rockers left me a bit disappointed, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that will feel this way. Hell, even my dad, who has been listening to Kim since the Max Webster days in the 70s was also wondering where the rockers were.
Kim has always been a world-class musician, and always had the best of the best perform and record with him, and I applaud him for doing what he wants to do, as all artists should. All I'm saying is that if he has anymore records in him after this one, I sure hope that he will put on the distortion pedal and include at least one or two rockers, because I know he still has it in him. His voice hasn't changed since the 80s, which is incredible. Long may Kim's amazing career continue.
Highs: It feels good to hear Kim Mitchell's iconic voice on new music.
Lows: Could've used some more pure rockers.
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