Kevin Rowland

The Wanderer

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This is a brilliant album. Although it is not a sequel to 1985's brilliant Don't Stand Me Down, it is clearly the natural follow-up. Knowing he could never top that major achievement, Kevin Rowland once again set out to reinvent himself for his first solo album. The result is a mixture of Celtic folk, rock, country, and dance music. The result is stunning. Rowland's vocals are amazing, clear, and full of his famous emotion. The assorted session musicians (including famed pedal steel guitarist Eric Weissberg) provide a solid foundation on which Rowland builds his mini masterpieces. Rowland is not so much the angry young man here (except maybe on the standout track, "Tonight), but rather a sad, lonely, pensive man who is trying to make sense of the world around him. He may not succeed, but in the process he has written some moving lyrics and does a wonderful cover of the classic "Heartaches By the Numbers." As usual, this is not the type of album one expects from Kevin Rowland, but when did Rowland ever do what was expected of him? Also worth searching out are the three singles released from the album, all containing hilarious and wonderful non-LP B-sides that could have been added as bonus cuts to the CD. There really is something here for most tastes, and by all rights this should be in most serious record collections.