Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

DEVON ALLMAN

RAGGED AND DIRTY

2014-10-26

Devon Allman is on a roll these days. With his terrific solo release Turquoise and a pair of highly acclaimed releases with the Royal Southern Brotherhood in the last two years he could be forgiven for using his downtime to relax. Instead, he's back with another solo disc. Kicking things off with the rocker, "Half the Truth", where he takes a tough guy's stance in the face of his woman's infidelities, he uses his new solo release to explore the state of his love life, the confusion inherent in relationships, and even the tragedy of slavery. On "Can't Lose 'Em All" he pleas for a change of his luck in the love game while on "Leavin'" he recognizes that for everyone hitting the road in search of something better there's someone left behind who doesn't have an adventure ahead. He also resurrects the Spinners' classic, "I'll be Around", where the toughness of "Half the Truth" evaporates into a promise to be there for the rebound. "Traveling" and "Back to You" each find him willing to cover great distances for his relationship, assuming it still exists when he finally rolls in. Another kind of relationship also proves to be a problem on "Blackjack Heart" Attack where he finds the allure of the cards as seductive as crack. While much notice is given to his deep soulful voice, which he can proudly trace back to his famous father, his guitar skills should invite similar acclaim. The instrumental "Midnight Lake Michigan" gives him a chance to demonstrate not only his flashy technique but his ability to craft compelling soundscapes that will transport you away from the moment. Most of this disc rocks pretty hard but "Leave the City" strikes a more reflective tone as the disc comes to a close. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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