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Sound & Fury by Sturgill Simpson - Album Review

Imagine for a minute if you will that ZZ Top and Nile Rogers had joined Vangelis in scoring the soundtrack to the sci-fi classic, "Blade Runner". With that combination of styles in your head you can seamlessly slide into the new album from Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson. 

Somewhat of a change from his last album, the superb " A Sailor's Guide To Earth", the new release is accompanied by an anime film on Netflix. Those expecting soulful Amerciana are in for a shock. From the instrumental guitar hero wailings of "Ronin" it is clear that Simpson has set out to follow his own advice on track 5, "Make Art Not Friends" and that we aren't in Kansas anymore.

This is synth laden rock, and unapologetically so. The soundtrack nature explains the abrupt changes between tracks such as from the rocking "Remember To Breathe" into "Sing Along" with its disco beat and heavy synth lines.
Another frantic bass line kicks off "A Good Look" before the aforementioned "Make Art Not Friends" becomes a song that could easily have been written by Brandon Flowers, not the man whose last release before this album was the old-school country of "The Dead Don't Die".
Things crank up for the hard riffing "Best Clockmaker On Mars", before "All Said And Done" brings us back down, climbing back up again into the modern rock and roll of "Last Man Standing".
The closest we get to country is "Mercury In Retrograde", but the flanger on the guitar keeps the sound futuristic.
Whilst those hoping for a more country direction might be disappointed, I love this album. It was clear from "A Sailor's Guide" that Simpson was not afraid to mix up his influences and this record simply demonstrates he has the chops and vision to go in any direction he chooses. My only criticism is the that the vocals are often overloading the mics and whilst this will clearly have been an artistic decision, I would have preferred a little more headroom. 


Where he goes from here, who knows, but I can't wait to hear.

"Everybody is trying to be the next someone......"

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