After Love Breaks the Fall (2015) and Brookfield (2017), two albums more dedicated to blues and blues rock, blues rocker Mike Brookfield now releases Hey Kiddo!, an album totally turned to rockabilly and instrumental 1950s style. The majority of the songs have the sonority and approach established at that time, with prominent treble guitar sounds and discrete but consistent bass & drum lines. But Mike does that in his manner, building and connecting intricated lines that bring and give shape to the whole context. In every song, Mike’s playing can be compared to a painter who adds layers and different elements in a white canvas, always concluding his art-of-work successfully, with a totally new landscape figured in it.
The first song is “Wave Shaped Moon”, which dictates the 1950s climate and approach that will be followed in the next songs. “Hey Kiddo!” and “Bikini Robots” are the only songs with remaining vocalizations. It’s fascinating how Mike is capable of telling a whole story with his guitar. Probably, while listening to this album you will create different characters and scenarios for each song. In “Aqua Cat”, aside from the standard musicality, there’s an amazing bluesy solo at the latter half.
In “Shoot A Curl” and “Rolling In Candy”, Mike perfectly connects a bunch of melodic blocks highlighting a killer vibrato when concluding the phrases. Things go a little bit slow in “Diamond Beach”. It has a Hawaiian mood, with a nice cadence and chords sequence. “Lightnin’ Tube Snake” has a complex start with different parts overcoming each other. In “King Strut”, the mood resembles a gangster movie with a breakthrough interlude in the middle. “Surf Punk” transports the listener to a totally different place and time, maybe because of the police sirens, the rhythm paced at each part, and harmonies. “Rock You Are” and Guitar Angel” finish this travel through time, both with perfect guitar executions.
Probably the main challenge of writing songs without lyrics is that you have to conduct all the emotions and feelings of your music only through instruments. And, on Hey Kiddo! Mike does that with excellence, using smart guitar tricks like rhythmic changes, vibratos, rallentando, muted strings, and a lot of other resources. It certainly expands the borders of blues and rock. Firstly serving as a reminder of where the rock comes from, and its evolution as well. On the other hand, enlarging the (good) music options available to the public’s entertainment.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Wave Shaped Moon
– Aqua Cat
– Diamond Beach
– King Strut
The Big Hit
– Wave Shaped Moon