Apparently you can only buy the Chickenfoot CD at Best Buy, which is distributing the disc, because I must have tried everywhere else on Friday and Saturday (didn’t pass any Best Buys). Luckily amazon.com was offering the whole disc for a $3.99 download. Sold! – and incidentally, this is the first time I bought an entire album as a “download.” Weird.
Below are my impressions of the tunes on first listen – though I’ve heard all these tunes in full once before, at the recent NYC show (here’s the review of that show).
But first: My initial impression from the three pre-release tunes and the pre-release clips was that the music was good, but didn’t light me on fire in a “what the heck was that?” kinda way, if you know what I mean. But really, what has other than the all-time classic bands? And how can you expect right-away, all-time-great magic from a bunch of guys who just recently started playing together, no matter how great they are individually?
Anyhow, what DID get me going was how enthused the guys were about the band and playing with each other. That meant the live show was liable to be great, and it was. Would the tunes on the new album capture any of that energy? I was psyched to find out.
The answer? In a way. It definitely didn’t have the improv thing, largely driven by Chad Smith, but there was a jam element to some of the tunes. Here you go, track by track:
Tune moves, cool heavier rock tune. Introduces the signature Satch tone in the band setting. Definitely dig it.
Soap on a Rope
Heard this over the web, sounds better playing on my computer. “Typical” rock tune (in E), a little funk. Sammy makes it great with his poppy vocals.
Sexy Little Thing
Another radio-friendly number, some cool drumming here and there.
Cool riff – unusual – different parts. One of my favorites.
Has an old-school blues feel, sorta, that morphs into a rock tune. I really like this one. Different.
Get It Up
Another cool/different tune. Might be my favorite on the album. Satch makes arpeggios seem effortless, as usual.
Down the Drain
FAT guitar sound, Sammy raps the verses. Second-longest song on the album at 6:16. Feels like a studio jam, neat
My Kinda Girl
First of all, call me a softie but I think it’s pretty cool that Sammy wrote a piece about single mothers. If you have kids, you know that being a single parent has to be exhausting in ways most people will never experience. So that’s very cool. The tune itself is really good. Cool Satch-esque lead.
Learning to Fall
Kind of an ’80s ballad. Not a fan of this one. Not real sure whom this is supposed to appeal to. Cougars?!
Another cool tune, 5:47 total, jamming at the end, cool major over minor vocal harmonies at the end. This, “Oh Yeah” and “Runnin’ Out” are new to me – new types of tunes, maybe the band’s style. Add the next tune to that list.
Future is the Past
Starts out like some kind of southern rock-style ballad, then it’s some semi-strumming, then it’s funk, then it’s rock with that southern rock/Long Way Home feel. I dig it.
I listed to most songs 2x or 3x, and honestly dug them more than I thought I would based on the more radio-friendly stuff I’d heard already. Couldn’t exactly tell what was there when I saw them live because it was loud, it was visual and all that, but now it’s clearer – though I’m sure the more I listen, the more will pop out, especially from Chad Smith.
My favorite thing about the album is the tunes that change a bunch, that don’t have the traditional A, D, G or whatever structure. The ones that change. That’s different to my ears, and it seems like a band sound the ‘foot can evolve into. As they loosen up from touring and playing together, it’ll be interesting to hear what comes out.
Overall I’m just psyched that these guys are out making old school-ish music. New music from bands I care about or I might be interested in is pretty rare these days….
> Strangest thing: No, or little, guitar pyrotechnics – and I focused on the tunes rather than the solos, maybe because Satch has been “all solos,” sorta, up until now.
> Mike is in the mix. No problem hearing the bass in these tunes. And even though Mike is a monster player, he lays back here.
> I love the fact that the guys aren’t afraid to bust out 5- and 6-minute tunes. Gives the fans a lot to listen to and it means they’re enjoying playing.
> Did you catch Chickenfoot on Conan Friday night? That was real amp TONE coming from Satch’s amps. Volume, the whole deal. Chad was hitting hard, the guys were singing hard. No Peavey Vyper amps miked backstage – the real deal. Gotta love it!