Thursday, July 8, 2010

Carl Verheyen: Atlas Overload (2000)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Carl Verheyen
Atlas Overload

From the fluidity of his jazz and blues-tempered rock-guitar solos’n’riffs to the unforced projection of his Sting-tempered singing, one would hardly guess that Carl Verheyen’s day job for the past fifteen years has been playing lead guitar for those princes of pomp-pop, Supertramp. For most of this, his fifth solo album, he sounds like a high-priced sessioneer whose résumé includes sitting in with jazz musicians and winning lots of “guitarist’s guitarist” awards--which is, in fact, exactly what he is, albeit one who values his solo discs more for the way they allow him to cut loose than for the way they allow him to show off. The best moments, though, occur when he does a little of both: “Revival Downs,” which kicks Mark Knopfler’s “Money for Nothing” riff into high gear, and “Nordenham,” which is NPR-segue music in excelsis if I’ve ever heard it. Rating: Four brunches in America out of five.

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