Review Summary: In his latest blues escapade, Bonamassa seeks redemption in his most prolific song-writing to date.
Arguably one of the most prominent artists of this generation, Joe Bonamassa is distinguished for his determination, ambition and high standards of quality. With each new release, he pushes his music into new territories and Redemption
was not an exemption. With the blessing and contribution of the creative Kevin Shirley, both production and songwriting are once again exemplary.
Bo's latest exertion opens with the propulsive 'Evil Mama', a vibrant track which exhibits Bonamassa's respect to Led Zeppelin. And if the thunderous drum rhythm was the direct reference to the classic-rock juggernauts, the Kashmir-esque texture in the bridge of 'Redemption' is the indirect one. Adding the tragic story of 'Molly-O' in that front and the swirling 'Deep In the Blues Again', the rock side of Redemption
is compiled triumphantly.
When it comes to his strongest element, Bonamassa does his part dutifully. In 'Love is a Gamble' there is a grandiose of weeping guitar notes, whereas in 'Just 'Cos You Can...' those similar groaning notes are accompanied by a series of melodramatic chords in order to exhibit an emotion of desperation from betrayal.
Just where it seems that this album is going to be a Blues of Desperation
follow-up, Bonamassa reminds everyone that the blues have a plethora of different shades. Whether that is the boogie blues extravaganza of 'King Bee Shakedown', the rural story in the country-ish 'The Ghost of Macon Jones' or the aura of 'Pick Up the Pieces' in a cozy New York late night after hours jazz bar, the talented man does his magic once again.
And then you have Joe's ballads. The two tracks that lyrically epitomize the essence of Redemption
. 'Stronger Now In Broken Places' is the first track in Bonamassa's career to date to feature him with an acoustic guitar, delivering an emotional track. But what will probably take all the credit, is the heart-breaking 'Self-inflicted Wounds'. A track which confirms that his lyrical prowess is unquestionable. One of his finest pieces and probably the best track of the album.
In his thirteenth studio release, Joe Bonamassa stretches the boundaries of his comfort by adding new elements in his sound. Redemption
is the vehicle that the guitar mastermind uses to channel the anguished voice of a wounded animal. He gave up everything for her, 'cept the blues.