11 May 2012

Review: Chickenfoot - III

With the release of the new Van Halen CD right around the corner, I thought I would check out the new Chickenfoot III. I must admit I was disappointed at the first Chickenfoot attempt, so it’s taken me this long to give it a listen.
In case you don’t already know, Chickenfoot is: Sammy Hagar (Lead and Background Vocals), Joe Satriani (Guitars, Six String Banjo), Michael Anthony (Bass and Background Vocals) and Chad Smith (Drums and Percussion).

I am always a little disappointed that Joe Satriani behaves himself so much in this band. But I know he is doing it because he wants to let Chickenfoot be a band and not just a bunch of super stars putting out an album. That leaves room for some of the most interesting bass lines I have ever heard from Michael Anthony. Check the intro on Dubai Blues to see what I mean.

“Up Next” is like a modern version of “Purple Haze”, I love the guitar and bass playing lines that double each other. It happens a lot on the album. The drums are just as funky as you would expect from Chad Smith. Together the rhythm section locks into a fluidic groove and the result is nothing less than musical alchemy.

Sammy’s lyrics are intelligent, his vocals rugged and determined, and with Michael Anthony singing backup vocals, Chickenfoot III sounds like it could be a Van Halen album. Maybe more than Van Halen’s new album will.

My favorite track on Chickenfoot III is “Something Going Wrong”.  It’s a nice acoustic bit with, surprise… a banjo part. There is also a very heartfelt song “Three and a Half Letters” in which Sammy recites some letters from people who have had a hard time making it in this slow economy. I do believe Chickenfoot may have their fingers more on the pulse of this nation than our politicians do.

The band has said they named this album Chickenfoot III to avoid the dreaded second album that many bands put out. What they don’t realize is that Chickenfoot I was that album. Chickenfoot III delivers the kind of album I was waiting for the first time around.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Something Going Wrong, Three and a Half Letters, Alright, Alright

Kirk Bullough

1.    Last Temptation
2.    Alright Alright 
3.    Different Devil 
4.    Next
5.    Lighten Up
6.    Come Closer
7.    Three and a Half Letters
8.    Big Foot
9.    Dubai Blues
10.    Something Gone Wrong
11.    No Change ( Hidden Track)

Artist:  Chickenfoot
Title:  III
Genre: Hard Rock  
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Label:  Entertainment One Music

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