Russ Freeman

Brave New World

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On their eighth outing, Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons turn in a typically eclectic outing, the lively, melodic Freeman tunes serving as staging areas for his electric and acoustic guitar excursions. The Whispers put in cameo appearances on background vocals on a couple of tracks, including covers of "Caravan of Love" and "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," and Freeman gives an updated arrangement to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" while elaborating upon Eric Clapton's original lead work on the Beatles classic. The album's booklet contains trendy references to cyberspace and web sites, but it's nothing to worry about; the Rippingtons were always a fairly techy band, anyway.

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