Gary Clark Jr.

This Land

This Land
Gary Clark Jr.
Released: February 22, 2019
Review by Dennis Morgillo.
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"This Land" is a modern day masterpiece. It will make Gary Clark Jr. a household name. I see many well deserved awards, accolades and Grammy's in Clark's future. Gary Clark Jr. is the real deal. As they say in baseball, Clark is a 5 tool player. The man sings like an angel, is a virtuoso on the guitar, writes amazing songs, is a style trendsetter, and is cool AF. The Rock Hall of Fame is filled with artists that only have 2 or 3 of these characteristics. 
I cannot recall an album in recent times, or any time for that matter, that is so diverse. The album is influenced by so many genres, that it cannot be classified and therefore forms its own genre. 100% Gary Clark Jr. "This Land" tackles Psychedelia, Hip Hop, Reggae, R&B, Funk, Punk, Blues, Jazz, Gospel and Soul. 

The album opens with the title track, a gritty, raw, fuzztone look at overt racism. It is a powerful song that is filled with emotion. Clark spills his heart and soul out on top of a cool techno, hip hop, blues, reggae beat. Screeching guitar licks emphasize each vocal, which Clark delivers in a rap like phrasing.

Clark's guitar playing is filled with raw emotion as well. Every note means something, every note rips your heart out. The man's playing has continually progressed. With this new release Clark is free to experiment and pursue his passions outside the restrictions of the blues. Experimentation has always created the greatest music.
I forgot to mention, "This Land" is available on vinyl as a double album. If you look back on history, the double album has marked a major turning point in the life of many classic bands. "Exile on Main St", "Physical Graffti", "London Calling", "The White Album" & "Electric Ladyland" are considered some of the finest moments in recorded music, and I believe "This Land" is destined to join them. 
The 60's and 70's Soul influence is evident during "What About Us". A Sly and The Family Stone meets Prince vibe, makes this a winner. "I Got My Eyes On You" is a nice, smooth, slow jam. An R & B power ballad, with a nod to Lenny Kravitz and some Hendrix undertones. Clark adds some fine falsetto and sounds like Jon Legend at times. I told you the man sings like an angel. 
"Feelin' Like a Million" is my pick for the anthem of 'Summer 2019'. A hard rocking reggae groove with an infectious melody, I can picture this being played at beaches and outdoor tiki bars everywhere. 

The surpise of the album is "Gotta Get Into Something". It sounds like a British 1977 Punk song from The Buzzcocks or The Clash. It is so damn fun and catchy. How is it possible to write a great song in every genre. Clark is just showing off now. I love it.  

"Feed The Babies" is pure 1970's Soul. Curtis Mayfield got nothing on this. This song could have been the theme song to a "Shaft" or "Dolemite" movie. "Pearl Cadillac" is a gospel infused blues song ala Prince. Beautiful vocals and guitars. I got chills on this one. 

"When I'm Gone" is a 60's Motown, Amy Winehouse beauty. Man the melody is so catchy and melodic. I dare you to try and not dance during this song. It can't be done. You will be singing into a hairbrush and dancing like The Temptations in 30 seconds. 

Is that enough? Well believe me the rest of the songs are equally as amazing. There is Funkadelic style Funk, Old School Blues, Delta Blues, R&B, Guitar solos and more. 16 songs of perfection.  

I may have described the songs in terms of the past, for the sake of the reader, but make no mistake about it, "This Land" is pure Gary Clark Jr. 100% Original, completely genuine, fresh, new and totally 2019. "This Land" is un questionably my pick for Album of the Year, 2019! 

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