Richie Sambora: Aftermath of the Lowdown
Big strings and drums, plus a singable strong chorus fuels “Every Road Leads Home to You” on Richie Sambora’s first solo release in 14 years, Aftermath of the Lowdown. When you hear tunes like “Weathering the Storm,” it’s hard to distinguish Richie’s solo stuff from what he co-wrote/plays/sings with the big bad Bon Jovi. But things here work best for me when Sambora is wailing, as he does on “Burn The Candle,” showcasing drummer Aaron Sterling and some brilliant Hendrix-like guitar playing (don’t kid yourself, Richie
Sambora can play!) and the frantic “Learning How To Fly with a Broken Wing.”
“Taking a Chance on the Wind” is a great big commercial country-rock number, with a pushing Matt Rollings’ organ and Curt Schneider’s bass. “Nowadays” is a loud, fun song with Richie again managing an infectious little chorus and a neat guitar sound for his lead. The ballads, “Forgiveness Street” is slightly over-the-top, and the slightly spacey, acoustic “I’ll Always Walk Beside You,” see some good solid singing, with Sambora actually managing a scratchy yet sweet falsetto in “Walk.”
I appreciate any guitar player utilizing a volume pedal (effect or pedal) as Sambora does on the confessional “You Can Only Get So High”; even with the huge production and saccharine lyrics, it’s the piano, vocals and guitar that work for me.
Sambora remarked that releasing his third solo record on an independent label was about having “…a lot more flexibility and a lot more freedom.” I’d say this album shows that flexibility, as well as some damn good songwriting, singing and certainly top-notch playing.