CD REVIEW: Karl Sky - Guess It's Time
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT
Artist: Karl Sky
Karl calls his brand of tune wrangling, Rock Roots Americana. Well, the guy that’s been writing songs for 17 years goes into more than that. ‘America’ alone is worth a comparison to Led Zeppelin, most specifically the acoustically building ‘Stairway to Heaven’ sort. The John Denver influence never fails to materialize either. Karl just likes the sound of the guitar, and keeps trying to think of other ways of making the strings sing.
Even ‘Not For Sale’ has an element of that George Harrison restrained, twang-distorted way of milking a solo. Sky’s voice isn’t perfect, as some of the high ends of phrases might demonstrate, but he’s pumpin’ blood red heart, and it’s that passion surging thru the music that makes these personal pop songs a pleasant distraction from the metal-grinding pessimism of the day. ‘My heart and soul are not for sale.’
But for me, the most successful style that Mr. Sky provides is the most simple. The personal and voice and guitar only mono of ‘Love of My Life’. Depend upon nothing else, just raise your studio-echoed voice to the wilderness and let go.
This is a songwriter first and foremost. And there is an affable component to the singing, like a regular guy chanting a song to a lover or a girl he’s hoping for. ‘Close My Eyes’ does that job, a tuneful ballad of beauty that is just Built for the outside. No cars, no people, no non-nature sounds, just a couple looking across a field, soaking up all that God invented.
Focusing on the acoustic, kneading in folk, writing like a pop star, Karl brings all components together like a well-oiled demo screaming for attention. He’ll get it. Perhaps he has a couple miles to go before perfection rears its panda head, but it’s in sight, and Sky is headed for that horizon.
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