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8 Great New Songs From Kenneth Roy
With No Dice, Kenneth Roy comes into full maturity as
singer, musician, and songwriter extraordinaire whose
work at mid-career out-classes most of what passes as
popular music today. The eight songs offer a clear-eyed,
steely look at love that comes from lived experience. The
music draws on styles and themes from the 1970s to 1990s to
both support and challenge the lyrics, to remarkable effect.
The music is more than back-up to Roy’s lyrics on this CD
it is its own art form. Roy plays multiple, often exotic instruments,
excels at keyboards. He is joined on some songs by Baron Chase
(electric bass), Dr. Ryman (synthetic brass, electric organ, electric bass,
electric keytar), and the late electric guitar master Michael Spears. Roy and producer Daniel Ryman (who also mixed and mastered) take us on a
thrilling ride, sometimes when we least expect it. There is the sleigh
bells Christmassy lead-in to “December,” for instance, that turns out to
be a song about a girlfriend who never shows up, leaving her lover in the
cold singing “a low tide sinking wave. And “Shiny Lake’s fanciful cascade of dream-like melody as Roy imagines finding the perfect love, that
suddenly changes its pace in a long, exciting close-out
I’ll be listening to this CD for a long time to come.
Karen Ann Watson-Gegeo, Ph.D.