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Monday, May 17, 2010

B. B. King: Blues For Me


1) Bad Case Of Love; 2) Get Out Of Here; 3) Bad Luck Soul; 4) Shut Your Mouth; 5) Baby, Look At You; 6) You're Breaking My Heart; 7) My Reward; 8) Don't Cry Anymore; 9) Blues For Me; 10) Just Like A Woman.

B. B. King goes... twisting, at least on the opening number, 'Bad Case Of Love'; for any similar artist with a similar gesture today, we'd call this yet another exercise in self-prostituting, but for B. B. King, this was, no doubt, just another brave attempt to break down the walls between genres. He twists pretty damn good, too; I guess his moves are a little rustier than Chubby Checker's, but he can sure play the guitar a whole lot better.

But seriously, Blues For Me is just another by-the-book record that only distinguishes itself in two ways from its predecessor. The bad way is that it brings back the syrupy orchestrated ballads ('My Reward'). The good way is that there are quite a few fast numbers, and 'Bad Case Of Love' — the lead single — is actually the least surprising of them, because B. B. also tries out grittier, Chuck Berry-style rock'n'roll, replete with true Berry-style licks and rollicking Johnny Johnson-style piano ('Just Like A Woman'), and even — dare I say it? — Ventures-style surf-rock (the totally mismatchingly named title track).

As for pure guitar power, the real highlight is probably 'You're Breaking My Heart', if only be­cause it is graciously given a weighty four minutes to properly unwind. Not that it makes a lot of difference or anything. Overall, just another enjoyable, but completely predictable page in the man's conservative almanac.

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