Pop quiz, pilgrim: What is the most compelling…the most evocative…the most thrilling and engaging thing in Rock and Roll?
The answer is the authentic voice. (Yeah I also have a fondness for a well-turned phrase but that’s a pontification for another time.)
Music is full of voices…some pristine and meticulous, some hard used and ragged, some polished by technology and trickery to a fare-thee-well…but it’s the authentic voice…the heartfelt, soulful, heartbreaking and soul quickening voice…that sends shivers down my spine and makes my jaded heart soar. Authentic voices are not nearly as prevalent as they should be…not by a long shot.
But V.K. Lynne…V.K. Lynne has an authentic voice. And damn if she doesn’t make my jaded, music loving heart soar into the heavens. She soars…she growls…she purrs…she belts out blues and testifies to the healing power of rock and roll. She is the real deal. She is the authentic voice.
I’ve sung the lady’s praises before (see here and here) and I should have sung the praises of this gritty and tuneful, powerfully rocking and soulful album long before this (the reasons for the absence of new music on this page are too many and too boring to bother you with here.)
Producer James Thomas provides a full-bodied foundation for that voice…that wondrous voice and the clear-eyed, bittersweet poetry of V.K.’s lyrics.
The opening track, the anthem-like “Find Me”, rides soaring guitars until the suspense is almost unbearable and then, just in the nick of time, is the voice…and all is already alright and I’m in love again (my love is chaste and respectful…but no less heartfelt for that…)
And it flows through you…that joy that music brings when it’s real…when it’s thrilling and engaging…for 9 more tracks (from the rueful blues of “Mess Like You” to the title track to the sweet sentiment of “Salvation in the Skies” to “He Rolls”, a simmering then percolating duet with Hogni you will search in vain to find a false note.)
Whiskey or Water isn’t a question, it’s an answer. And what a grand answer it is.