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Rick Springfield has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. In my opinion, he is one of the most under-appreciated singer/songwriters in the business. He has a gift of turning big, bold ideas into radio-friendly power pop tunes.

For those who have been following Rick’s career know that even at his commercial zenith he’s never shied away from dabbling in different musical genres or writing about sober or weightier subjects. Over the last decade, his latter-day releases have been some of his most engaging; taking his big, bold ideas and testing his limits by utilizing numerous musical categories that included pop, rock, & country to help best convey the sentiment or urgency of the songs. He’s rarely delivered an album that sounded much like the one before it. Yet you always knew who it is.

From the looks of things, he is not about to stop any time soon. Rick’s latest release The Snake King, may be his most surprising and delightful musical curve ball of his career, his first ever blues rock record. The 12-track album is available now in CD and vinyl formats as well as digital download and streaming.

The Snake King is a dark and mature record with Rick exploring depression, faith, love, lust, and political confusion, and that’s just the first half of the album. The man has a lot to say about the state of the world and mankind’s place in it. The Snake King is easily one of the most lyrical driven albums that I have ever heard. The 10-minute-long album closer, Orpheus In The Underworld, may go down in the Guinness World Records books for quite possibly having the most lyrics ever written for one song. But don’t let the lyric thing scare you, Rick Springfield hasn’t lost his touch for creating catchy, memorable, and melodic songs that will easily reel in the listener.

Besides the lyrics, another surprise on the album is Rick’s guitar playing. Although Rick has dabbled in guitar heroics before, we’ve never heard him take so much time to shred as he does here on The Snake King. No one will be calling Rick the next Eric Clapton, but he sure holds his own as a soloist.

In my opinion The Snake King is a great album from beginning to end. Each and every listen unveils a new favorite track. But if I had to choose some the choice cuts off the record it would be the following: the George Harrison sounding, In the Land of the Blind, the Chicago Blues inspired, The Devil That You Know, the title track, the rocking’ first single Little Demon, and the opus album closer Orpheus in the Underworld.

The Snake King may not be the Rick Springfield album fans were expecting, but it is an engaging listen displaying a conflicted and contemplative artist who is still struggling to make sense of the world around him. Highly recommended.

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